Canada ranks sixth in the world in pig production with a population of about 15 million pigs. The other countries being China(466), EU(153), USA(60), Brazil(32 and Russia(17). Most Canadian pig farms are located in the Prairies(Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta), Quebec, and Ontario, areas that produce grains and grain by-products for feed use.
Canadian pig farms vary from large, specialized operations, which market several thousand animals annually, to small mixed farms which market 100 or less. And now Canadian pig farming is marching advance to modernization, scale, and intensification development with high production levels.
The main features of pig farming in Canada:
1. Carrying out performance measurement and genetic evaluation:
Since 1937, Canada’s pig industry has had access to a uniform national testing system, the National Record of Performance Swine Testing Program. It provides producers with a basis for accessing their breeding stock using techniques such as ultrasonic recording of fat measurement in live animals. The program is now administrated by the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement, with member organizations throughout the country.
2. Employing modern pig production technology:
Canada’s pig farming automation has been improved with the development of modern pig farming technology. Pig feeding, watering, feces cleaning, temp, humidity, and pig house ventilating are all computer-controlled; to prevent disease transmission to keep animals’ health, SEW (segregated early weaning) is widely adopted, which is a kind of sow—nursery pig—barren sow three-level breeding pattern; improving the pig production quality; reducing epidemic prevention and medical treatment cost. Many pig farms cooperate, forming a pig production association including producing, processing, and marketing, to enhance market competitiveness.
3. Attaching great importance to disease prevention-control and animal product quality-safety:
Canada’s government has established rigorous pig farming sanitation and quarantine standards to ensure consumers’ food safety, widely adopting PSS(porcine stress syndrome) and PSE(pale soft exudative pork) DNA tests for the boar. In Canada, pig farmers must have a breeding license and the main disease control measures are:
—Popularizing the artificial insemination around the country;
—Implementing segregated early weaning for piglets;
—Three-level breeding pattern, the sow, piglet, and commodity pig are raised in separate pig farms (3 km away from each);
—Regular sampling monitoring by a veterinarian.
4. Putting a high value on ecological environment protection:
Canada’s genetic engineering researchers have developed “enviro-pig” through the genetic recombination method, and enviro-pigs have the self-sufficient phosphorus they need. This technology lessens the phosphorus content in pig feed and 60% phosphorus content in pig waste. So, it lessens feed costs and protects the environment. There are two main ways for pig waste at present:
—Compost disposing, which is a kind of bio-treatment method. During the procedure of waste fermentation, a large number of microorganisms convert the waste into moist stable products of biotic components conforming to the hygiene standards;
—Sewage recycling, the fecal water is transported into the wastewater treatment pond after the anaerobic and aerobic fermentation. It can be used for crop fertilizer and irrigation, then there will be a positive cycle between pig farming and crop farming.
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