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Veteran Advisor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

How much do they shorten the life of the sows.  We went away from farrowing crates, to low-stress stalls, and it was common to have 7-8 year old sows, and I had one that was 12 years old, and still weaning 10 pigs a litter.

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Re: Farrowing crates gotta go

all crates banned in oregon as of january 1st 2012

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Advisor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

Remember, I'm talking about gestation crates, not farrowing crates. Niman ranch had me switch from bedded farrowing stalls to some type of pens. My 'laid on" pigs went up from almost nothing to probably 1-2 per litter. I usually just kept my sows 3-4 litters

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

When I took over the hogs (and went until the facilities wore out) we had no crates at all.

They were bred in an open lot,

ditto gestation

farrowed in an area large enough for the sow to turn around in, and the building had a 'mudflap' over a door, so she could go inside or outside as she wished, with water outside.

Pigs were weaned into a building, where they could go outside any time they wanted to, with a large run-around pen out front, all the way through until fed out.

I sold some hogs to Neiman, as I qualified, but there was only myself, and one other guy who met Neiman's qualifications, and the trucking just killed us. 

A group of us then tried to remodel a small hog slaughterhouse, where all the hogs came from family farmers, and they were to have a line going, much like Neiman's did. 
Either Tyson or IBP got wind of it, and undercut us, everywhere we tried selling the meat.  I think we could have made a go with it, had the management taken the path of 'premium' pork, instead of letting them run us in the ground.  There is still talk that the managers were in on it with the big guys, as the plant continued operation, doing custom cutting for Tyson, for resturaunt orders and other premium services, but not before a bankrupcy took away all the farmer-owned shares.

Here is the only evidence left on the internet, that I can find, about it:  http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-71084611.html

They found a plant to remodel, instead of building new, like the blurb says.

 

Sorry if the story bored you, but it's Sunday, the kids are napping, and the wife is reading a book, so I'm just killing time LOL.

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

Not boring at all --- to bad it didn't pull through---corperatism is a different animal and how they are very insecure about a little competition---was evident when we browsed around a organic food symposium in Lacrosse Wi when a huge layer guy told me he gets "way less" than a dollar a dozen for contract breaker eggs and a "300 hen 20 acre" gal was getting "eight" for her pasture produced eggs and can't raise enough of them---he seemed somewhat disturbed ---

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Senior Contributor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

Was wondering what happened to that plant. Had heard about it starting and checked it out at a local meeting, but decided not to invest. Seems like the same happened to York Packing too.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

They needed more hog #s, once they got the place remodeled, so they allowed you to just buy one 'voting' share, and then deliver pigs, with the understanding that if you delivered so many a month, after so long (I think a year or two) that chain space was 'yours'.  I bought the voting share, and delivered pigs, but have yet to be paid for the last load.  At least I didn't get the worst of it.  I know of a couple guys that paid full rate for a bunch of shares, lost that money, and didn't get paid for a load or two of hogs, on top of it.  Lots of questions still swirl around, like why their 'consultant' was getting paid $75,000, while the plant wasn't even in operation.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

Neb I would agree with you there. Gestation crates are very hard on a sows structure. It would be nice to see some moderation here though. I am in favor of moving sows into gestation crates for breeding and giving vaccinations. Gestation crates make hog farming safer and more efficient for hog producers but I don't feel that a sow or any animal should spend its entire life unable to turn around.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

Hogs in the US have officially went the way of chickens.  That doesn't mean that a person can't do something different but its just as expensive of a game.  Here is a guy raising pigs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys that used to post on this page a lot.  

 

www.indianapolismonthly.com/dish/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10374163

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Gestation crates gotta go

Looks like  Temple Grandin  has a new project in Wyoming  --- interesting approach with the pushing of a log chain mind set ---

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