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 operation, which market several thousand animals annually, to small mixed farms marketing 100 or less. And now Canadian pig farming is marching advance to modernization, scale and intensification development with high production level.
The main features of pig farming in Canada:
1. Carrying out performance measurement and genetic evaluation:
Since 1937, Canada pig industry has 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 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 have a cooperation, forming a pig production association including producing, processing and marketing, to enhance market competitiveness.
3. Attaching great importance to disease prevention-control and animal products quality-safety:
Canada 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 test for the boar. In Canada, pig farmers must have the breeding license and 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 separated pig farms (3 km away from each);
—Regular sampling monitoring by veterinarian.
4. Putting high value on ecological environment protection:
Canada genetic engineering researchers has developed “enviro-pig” through genetic recombination method, and enviro-pigs have self-sufficient phosphorus they need. This technology lessens phosphorus content in pig feed and 60% phosphorus content in pig waste. So lessens feed cost and protects the environment. There are two main ways for pig waste disposing 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 waste water treatment pond and after the anaerobic and aerobic fermentation. It can be used for crops fertilizer and irrigation, then there will be a positive cycle between pig farming and crop farming.
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