The Best Floors to Keep Your Pigs Show Ready
Pigs are big business, from the hogs that are bred for food, to the show pigs winning awards at state fairs. These competitions help teach animal husbandry concepts to a younger generation to ensure best practices are carried forward, so production operations can benefit from innovative thinking. From day one in 4H to blue ribbon, this article is about the factors that should be considered when raising show pigs.
ADA Enterprises is a manufacturer of commercial quality flooring for livestock and other animal needs. We supply ranchers and the industry with premium quality, modular flooring options that help improve animal health, herd throughput, and overall size and weight of yield.
About Show Pigs
Show Pigs don’t just show up on the day they are judged. The important behind the scenes preparation and hard work by caretakers of show pigs culminates in the ultimate outward expression of a prize winning Pig. But it’s not a task that seasoned veterans and young animal husbandry students take lightly. Competition is fierce and a lot of effort is put forward to produce the best show pigs.
The 4H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) are a couple of the competition promoting, and educational programs that inspire entry into this industry that is more than just a niche offshoot of the pork landscape.
In the case of 4H, the “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health” are more than just the makeup of an acronym. Education and experience is gained in pig competitions that can carry the industry forward through generational progression of best practices and innovation by young learners, turned into smart operational specialists. Not every student in a youth husbandry program will become a rancher, a herd owner, or a purveyor of pork products, but all will learn something that they can carry into their own personal journey in life.
So, as you’ll see, show pigs aren’t just pigs on a stage – they represent something much bigger.
How a Show Pig is affected by its environment
Pigs need optimal environmental conditions to show up on the main stage in optimum shape and size. The early months are incredibly important. Safety and balance are important inputs, and cleanliness, food distribution and comfort for the animals can have huge impacts on the final product. In the nursery and farrowing areas, it’s important to establish the right conditions and offer stability, sustainability and continuity in the day-to-day of a premium specimen.
Concerns that a Show Pig caretaker needs to consider
The following sections speak to the importance of the different factors in rearing show pigs that win awards. It’s not about one area over another, but how a balanced approach can lead to optimal results. Pig flooring can be an important piece in the puzzle – more on that later.
Abrasions on Show Pigs
Slipping, sliding and rough housing can cause abrasions which can lead to bacterial infections that can cause suboptimal weight gain, and introduce sickness into the group. It also establishes unsightly scars and promotes weakness in the animal early on, which more often than not, carries throughout its life.
Joint concerns on Show Pigs
This same slipping and lack of footing caused by environment or just general pig behavior can cause joint issues. With high weight, comes more pressure on joints, which requires better footing, to avoid breaks and weak limbs. A broken leg is almost assuredly a death sentence for an animal in a larger group size from litter to drove.
Keeping Show Pigs Clean with proper flooring
Keeping pigs clean can be a gamechanger, especially in a larger group setting. Infection in young pigs can be difficult to manage, and will almost certainly lead to poor total weight, and size. The countenance of the pig is easily affected by sickness, so minimizing the incidence of bacterial infection and generally poor health, is important. Mostly, this can be countered by a clean living area and by separating or evacuating feces and urine from the normal eating and run areas.
Comfort for Show Pigs
Temperature control is essential in raising strong and comfortable pigs. It goes without saying that when you’re looking to breed a best in class pig, temperature is a factor; dryness and comfort are factors.
Size and weight of Show Pigs
Healthy pigs put on more weight, faster, and the weight is better distributed and healthier for the joints as muscle and fat is built properly. The overall conditions and feed mix have a big impact on ensuring proper weight – but conditions are also affected by the cleanliness of the pig’s day-to-day area.
Winning Show Pigs
A healthy piglet should begin to show muscle while still maintaining leanness.
Your show pig should be well-proportioned to develop the larger frame needed to carry muscle.
Ideally, shoulder height should equal hip height, and their legs should sit well between the chest and hips.
A healthy piglet will be able to move about freely without being muscle-bound.
A great show pig will be without blemishes or skin abrasions. It will have bright eyes and healthy skin and hair.
The Iowa State University Swine Judging Handout provides additional tips for showing pigs.
Flooring for Show Pigs can be an important factor in Winning Pigs
So here’s the pitch: Flooring makes a big difference in breeding show pigs to optimum size, specification and countenance. Pigs treated to better conditions grow better, look better and are built better, without complications.
It’s as simple as that. Flooring, while it may not be obvious, especially to those without years of experience has a big effect on overall animal outcome. We’re going to spell out some of the ways that DuraTrac Flooring can help accomplish these goals for prize winning pigs below. We invite you to reach out to explore the ways ADA Enterprises can help you accomplish goals in an educational, or a production pig setting. Best practices are more easily achieved with best in class products and tooling.
Why DuraTrac Floors are best in class for Show Pigs and beyond
DuraTrac Flooring is an industry best in class. We make flooring that accomplishes the following things:
- Temperature control to stabilize the temperature at contact points with the pigs
- Airflow, and passive evacuation of urine and feces through specially engineered surfaces that utilize an open design
- The spacing between the openings in the flooring means small feet are not able to get stuck in the flooring
- Textured and coated construction (steel frame and plastisol outer coating) keep the footing sure for animals
- Maintaining Rust Proof characteristics under most conditions; UV resistant, mold and mildew resistant
- Strong, elevated structures that allow easy cleaning and maintenance
- Modular designs and plenty of add-on capabilities to ensure easy fitment to any space and for any needs
- A company that stands behind their product and at the forefront of innovation in this market segment – ADA Enterprises is a proven provider of quality infrastructure to the industry
- We offer several options in animal flooring that can help you accomplish real goals, within a reasonable timeline, affordably
ADA Enterprises, Inc. is family-owned and has been committed to quality animal flooring since 1974. Dura Trac sets the standard for animal flooring because the focus has been on quality design from the start. Farrowing quality show pigs is your goal. Providing quality flooring that allows you to produce the best is our passion.
We’d love to talk with you – whether you are a commercial production operation, an educational institution, or just starting your journey with show pigs, or in other areas of the industry. We’d like to help you get where you want to be.