Swine Production 432 Project

Students will:

1.         Integrate information from farmer interviews, site visits, class discussion, and references to develop an understanding of swine production systems.

2.         Analyze and compare various approaches.

3.         Demonstrate effective teamwork.

4.         Prepare a detailed technical report.

5.         Present their results orally.

The project will be carried out by teams of three students paired with a commercial swine producer. Teams will interview the farmer and carefully observe the farm site. A draft report on each section will be uploaded in laulima. Each section of the project will be presented in class on the first class day of the week indicated in the class schedule. The written section will be revised based on comments received in class discussion and will be uploaded in laulima (diagrams and plans can be handed in as hard copy) at the end of the week. The final complete project assignment is to be uploaded on the last class day. Marks will be deducted for any assignments not handed in when due.

The assignments are to be typed (double spaced, numbered pages), except for diagrams and plans, which are to be neat and legible. They are to be written in the style of a technical report to be presented to producers.


Each section of the assignment will evaluated, assigned a preliminary letter grade and returned to the team with comments. The team is expected to make appropriate alterations based on the comments and on consultation with the instructor. The complete assignment containing all the revised sections will be assigned a numerical grade following the grading criteria listed.

If you have any questions regarding this assignment, please consult with the instructor.


Describe a commercial farrow-to-finish swine enterprise in Hawai`i, including a description of the site and herd, the breeding system, the feeding program, the buildings and manure handling, the herd health plan and animal welfare, and marketing and economics. The description should be based on farmer interviews, site visits, and appropriate resources. Describe only the pig farm and not any other crops or livestock.

The swine production system will be described in six sections. Describe farm practices and the reasons why the farm uses these practices. Sufficient descriptive information and calculations are to be included in the reports in order that anyone reading the reports can readily determine what is done and why. Compare farm practices to recommended practices and explain any differences. Be sure to credit sources and include a bibliography.

Section 1. Swine Farm Site and Herd Description

Introduce the farm and farmer, and provide a brief history. Describe the farm location. Indicate where it is on a map (e.g. City and County map, MapQuest). What is the zoning in this location? Describe the site in as much detail as possible, considering topography, rainfall, and proximity of neighbors. What resources are available at this location? What are the drawbacks? Consider water resources, feed sources, land for application of manure, and availability of markets. Why was this location chosen?

Give a general description of the production system for this farrow to finish farm. Is it a pasture farm, a confinement farm, or something in-between? Why?

Determine the size of the swine herd and calculate the inventory of pigs of each category (sows, boars, gilts, suckling pigs, weaners, growers, finishers). How many pigs are mated, farrowed, weaned, and sold each week? What are the farrowing rates and pre- and post-weaning death rates?

Swine Care Handbook

City and County of Honolulu Planning and Permitting

Hawai`i Agricultural Statistics Service

Production Economy of the swine industry in Hawai`i

What Do You Need to Raise Swine in Hawai`i

PIH Production Systems

Section 2. Breeding System

Describe the breeds, the breeding or crossing system, and the selection of replacements in the herd. Include a diagram of the crossing system. What are the sources of replacement sows and boars? How are culling decisions made? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the selected system compared to other systems? How are appropriate matings determined? How are replacements selected? How is inbreeding avoided? Indicate the number of boars, sows, and gilts of each breed and cross.

Oklahoma State University - Swine Breeds

National Swine Improvement Federation

PIH Breeding and Genetics

Section 3. Feeding Program

Describe each of the feeds used on the farm, and the ages of the pigs for which it is used. Include the ingredients in the feed, the source of the feed, any medications in the feed and withdrawal times, the amounts fed, and the cost of the feed. Calculate the macro-nutrients in the feed and compare to the nutrient requirements for each age group. How closely does the feed meet the needs of the pigs? Describe any feed processing equipment. Describe the delivery of the feed to the pigs. Describe the delivery of water to the pigs. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this feeding program? What other local feeds are available?

PIH Nutrition

Section 4. Buildings and Manure Handling

Outline the building(s) for the herd on graph paper using a line drawing showing designs and pen layout, flow pattern, size and approximate costs, including equipment. Include a table showing how many pigs there are in each age/size group, the number of pigs per pen, the number of pens needed, the area needed per pig and the size of each pen. Describe any specialized penning such as farrowing crates or raised nursery pens. Include waste handling systems and manure storage. Include feed storage and any other specialized facilities. Does the layout help make pig movement and other jobs flow smoothly?

Calculate the quantity of manure produced and indicate the methods of manure management and disposal. How much is a 25-year 24-hour storm at this location? Can the manure handling system withstand a 25-year 24-hour storm? Include an estimate of the crop land which would be necessary for land application.

MidWest Plan Service

PIH Housing

EPA Animal Feeding Operations

PIH Manure Management

Living Machine

NRCS State of the Land

Section 5. Health and Management

Outline the herd health program, including measures to prevent entry and spread of disease, measures to control disease, and measures to maximize immunity. What measures are used to minimize stress at all stages of production. What measures are used to prevent residues in the meat?

Outline the routine management practices required by the pigs, such as piglet processing. Describe the schedule of daily and weekly management. How is animal welfare promoted in this system?

The Merck Veterinary Manual



APHIS Veterinary Services

PIH Herd Health

Pork Quality Assurance Plus Handbook

Food Safety and Inspection Service

On Farm Euthanasia of Swine - Options for the Producer

Vaccination Schedules for Swine in Hawai`i

Section 6. Marketing and Economics

Where are the pigs sold and for what price? What are the marketing costs (slaughter fee, pork check-off)?

How much labor is required? Include all workers, including the owner.

Determine the costs, returns and profitability of the above enterprise at present prices of inputs and pigs. Include costs attributable to feed, breeding stock, health managment, capital investment (interest and depreciation), labor, and other operating costs (estimate if necessary). If care is exercised in developing the previous sections, this section should not require a large amount of work. Comment on your expectations regarding the future of this farm and the pork industry in its area. Can it compete with mainland pork?

PIH Marketing

Hawai`i Agricultural Statistics Service