The Best Floors To Keep Your Pigs Show Ready
Farrowing pigs for show is a satisfying way to introduce pig farming and farming in general to the next generation. But what exactly is a show pig, and how are piglets prepared to be purchased for show?
What is a show pig?
A show pig is more than a contestant in a swine beauty show. It is the outward manifestation of the knowledge and commitment of its owner to excellence. It requires a time commitment, education, and a strong work ethic. Show pigs are pigs that have been specially selected and grown to represent an ideal pig specimen in size, muscle, volume, condition, and structure.
Show pigs are often students’ first exposure to farm life through school clubs, such as 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America). The 4 h’s in 4H stand for “head, heart, hands, and health.” The lessons learned through showing pigs last long beyond the competition and include all of these four elements. The first step towards a prize show pig is selecting a healthy piglet.
The role of a show pig’s environment
The early months of a pig’s life are crucial in establishing a pig’s future health. Having the right surfaces to prevent injury and disease to piglets is an essential first step in growing show pigs. From nursing injuries to bacteria, young pigs at risk of abrasions, disease, and lameness. However, the proper environment can greatly reduce the risks posed to a young piglet.
- Slipping – Without sure footing, pigs are susceptible to slipping. This can cause injuries such as abrasions. Abrasions give entry opportunities to bacteria and other harmful diseases. Preventing slipping is a small but crucial step to keep piglets safe.
- Nursing – When a sow flips from side to side while nursing, the piglets on the bottom row of nipples often suffer knee abrasions if the floor’s surface is not smooth. A smooth flooring surface reduces knee abrasions and thereby prevents additional problems associated with exposed wounds.
- Joints – A pig’s skin is also susceptible to joint abrasions. Pigs need flooring that is gentle on their skin. A smooth floor minimizes the risk of introducing Streptococcus suis disease, a gram-positive bacterial pathogen. This is a serious condition that can lead to abscesses and lameness in pigs, especially young piglets.
- Cleanliness – Mesh openings in a floor allow urine and feces to fall through the floor rather than remain in the pig’s immediate environment. This keeps pigs cleaner, at less risk for disease, and allows for ease of clean-up. A clean environment is a healthy environment.
- Temperature – When pigs are cold, they must use valuable energy to keep warm. Pigs do best raised inside a well-ventilated, comfortable barn. Floors that remain at room temperature eliminate the need for energy output solely to keep warm. A warm pig will grow better.
- Weight – Healthy sows and a safe nursing environment mean increased weaning weights and healthier piglets.
Why show pig flooring matters
Because much of the injury and disease to piglets involve flooring, having the right flooring can make all the difference in the life of a healthy piglet. Well-designed flooring can help prevent injury from abrasions, disease and even help keep a piglet clean and warm.
How Dura Trac floors keep show pigs healthy from birth
Dura Trac floors, by ADA Enterprises, Inc., are 100% plastisol (poly-vinyl) coated and developed specifically for traction and the prevention of floor-related injuries. A smooth surface prevents abrasions that can lead to infection and disease. Mesh allows for the passage of urine and feces to a gutter below. Solid plates prevent drafts and aid in keeping piglets warm. Warm, dry, and comfortable piglets mean stress is reduced. A happy pig is a healthier pig.
Dura Trac floors are easy to clean, which minimizes bacteria growth. Dura Trac’s clearspan support systems allow for customization and ease of installation, both for new and existing construction. There is no exposed metal, so rust and corrosion will never be a problem. Because Dura Trac is built with prime steel and then covered with a thick coating of premium plastisol, the strength and durability of your floors are not in question.
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.
What to look for when purchasing show pigs
Once piglets have been weaned and are ready to purchase and prepare for show, look for these signs of a healthy show pig:
- Muscle. A healthy piglet should begin to show muscle while still maintaining leanness.
- Proportion. 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.
- Movement. A healthy piglet will be able to move about freely without being muscle-bound.
- Skin. 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.
Show pigs are raised for competition because they are the best of the best. Your show pigs deserve the best from the very start. The health of your show pigs depends highly upon a safe environment that is free from disease. The ease of your operation depends on quality material that is hygienic, easy to clean, safe for your pigs, and designed to last.
You take pride in your work, as does ADA Enterprises. Our goal is to help you produce the best by providing you with the best products and customer service. Our experienced and skilled staff would love to speak with you and design the perfect floors for your needs. For any questions about Dura Trac, our custom coating services, a price quote, or any questions at all, contact us today.