Free Range Pig Farming
Free range pig farming is a method of farming husbandry where the pigs can run around outside on pasture/grasslands and roam freely for food, but the shelter must be provided for pigs move in and out, and move freely around the paddocks. Pigs need some special conditions, such as firm soil and mild climate, to be raised in this way. Free range system usually offers the opportunity for extensive locomotion and sunlight prevented by indoor housing system.
Because free range pig farming requires a great number of staff as pigs are exposed to all the elements and need constant care and attention, this kind of pig farming style is usually used in many smaller farms with a small number of pigs. But each pig needs a surprisingly large area of land to support it, so 2-4 pigs an acre should be the limit, which also makes the pasture/grassland have enough time to recover.
Natural Pig Farming
Natural pig farming can be a compelling alternative to free range pig farming system, but they are different. It does not require a large area of land and pigs are fed by fresh fodder vegetables cultivated or cut where they grow naturally in wild. There are relevant facilities and some natural ways for heating and cooling to keep this system stable working in any climate. The number of pigs can be raised is considerably higher with natural pig farming, it is because pigs are kept in a more concentrated environment that never-the-less respects their need for space.
Free Farmed Pig Raising
The sows are outdoors farmed in paddocks with shelter provided to protect them from the elements and special huts for farrowing. The sows can move their shelter to the paddocks freely without restriction. And once weaned, the piglets are raised in barns with no crates or stalls and are free to move around. The grower shed is fully open to the sun with feed and water available for 24 hours. This pig farming style is mainly applied in regions with soil types, consistent weather and a ready supply of straw and bedding.
Stall Free Pig Farming
Sow stalls are used to confine individual sow in intensive pig production. These stalls are very restrictive and do not allow free and natural move. Stall free means that sows are all indoors and group housed in sheds and weaned pigs are finished under shelter in groups as well. Sow gestation crates are not used in pregnancy. When birthing, the sow will be moved to a farrowing crate that is for preventing piglets from being squashed by mother at birth, and also so the sows can receive their own food and water.
Outdoor Bred Pig Farming
Pigs are born outside, in fields where they are kept until weaning; breeding sows are kept outside in fields for their productive lives (as free range standard). After weaning, the piglets move to deep litter housing for growing and finishing. Where soil types and climate are constraint, farmers can keep gestating sows in barns, in groups on deep straw bedding for a maximum of seven weeks at the start of each production cycle. The pigs are provided with food, water and shelter with generous minimum space allowances. And pigs are unable to perspire, so their ideal growing temp is 20-22℃ in this farming style.
Indoor Intensive Housing Pig Farming
Indoor intensive housing is referred to factory farming, raising pigs in confinement at high stocking density. This system for pigs from birth to weaning and for lactating and weaned sows can hold large number of pigs. And generally it is managed on an all-in all-out basis, keeping pigs of similar ages in groups in a common environment. Current housing systems are continuously evolving to improve herd health, welfare and productivity. Food and water are supplied in place, and artificial methods are often employed to maintain pigs health and promote pigs growing, such as therapeutic use of antimicrobial agents, vitamin supplements and growth hormones.