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A sty or pigsty is a small-scale outdoor enclosure for raising domestic pigs as livestock. It is sometimes referred to as a hog pen, hog parlor, pigpen, pig parlor, or pig-cote, although pig pen may refer to pens confining pigs that are kept as pets as well. Pigsties are generally fenced areas of bare dirt and/or mud. "Sty" and "pigsty" are used as derogatory descriptions of dirty, messy areas, the word sty deriving from the Proto-German stijan meaning filthy hovel.There are three contributing reasons that pigs, generally clean animals, create such a living environment:
A large-scale enclosure for raising pigs is generally called a hog lot. Unlike a sty which would be found on a mixed farm, a hog lot is usually a dedicated facility.
A locked enclosure with confined/restricted movement & freedom to exercise, is known as a boar-stall. Although, according to some experts forced immobilization was believed to elevate cortisol.
The family hog pen was a small-scale system of pig farming found on family farms of the early 1900s, although backyard pig farming does still occur. Family hog pens enclosed just a few hogs to provide year-round meat for the table. Before refrigeration, some family farms depended on pigs as a primary source of meat and shortening (lard) for year-round food. Farms which had tenant families might have several hog pens. This is vastly different from the modern American hog farm which have an average of about 2,000 hogs, with the largest raising hundreds of thousands.
Farming pigs outdoors poses problems, but the small scale of family farming made it possible to manage these problems. In particular, hogs suffer 'heat stress' in high temperatures and have no sweat glands to naturally cool themselves. To cool themselves, hogs need access to water or a 'wallow', which is an area of mud. Without access to water or mud, pigs must wallow in their own excrement. Normally, pigs avoid their own excrement; pigs do not defecate just anywhere in their pen–they use one corner of it for their 'toilet'. Ideally, a cement wallow which contains water cools the pig much better. Alternatively, shade may be provided for the pigs. Pink pigs are especially prone to sunburn.
Many family farm hog pens were improvised enclosures made of any handy free material. The pen is often kept small to conserve building material and effort.
Historically, these farms fed hogs on grain, fruit and vegetables that are not fit for sale or family use. Overage produce from the farmer’s market and table and restaurant scraps were often diet elements as well. This practice of 'swill feeding' (feeding table scraps) is considered a disease risk today, though this is mainly associated with feeding meat to pigs, which is banned in many countries. Hogs were also fed "slops" made from middlings or corn meal stirred with milk and water.
Historically, hogs were also allowed to forage in gardens and orchards after the harvest was over. Such foraging can cause erosion and runoff, but the small scale of these operations prevented this from occurring.
A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the even-toed ungulate family Suidae. Pigs include domestic pigs and their ancestor, the common Eurasian wild boar, along with other species. Pigs, like all suids, are native to the Eurasian and African continents, ranging from Europe to the Pacific islands. Suids other than the pig are the babirusa of Indonesia, the pygmy hog of South Asia, the warthog of Africa, and other pig genera from Africa. The suids are a sister clade to peccaries.
Intensive pig farming, also known as pig factory farming, is the primary method of pig production, in which grower pigs are housed indoors in group-housing or straw-lined sheds, whilst pregnant sows are housed in gestation crates or pens and give birth in farrowing crates.
Vermicompost (vermi-compost) is the product of the decomposition process using various species of worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms, to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast. This process is called vermicomposting, while the rearing of worms for this purpose is called vermiculture.
Dairy farming is a class of agriculture for long-term production of milk, which is processed for eventual sale of a dairy product.
The domestic pig, often called swine, hog, or simply pig when there is no need to distinguish it from other pigs, is an omnivorous, domesticated even-toed ungulate. It is variously considered a subspecies of the Eurasian boar or a distinct species, but the American Society of Mammalogists considers it the latter. The domestic pig's head-plus-body length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m, and adult pigs typically weigh between 50 and 350 kg, with well-fed individuals often exceeding this weight range. The size and weight of hogs largely depends on their breed. Compared to other artiodactyls, a pig's head is relatively long and pointed. Most even-toed ungulates are herbivorous, but domestic pigs are omnivores, like their wild relative. Pigs "grunt" and make "snorting" sounds.
The bushpig is a member of the pig family that inhabits forests, woodland, riverine vegetation and cultivated areas in East and Southern Africa. Probably introduced populations are also present in Madagascar. There have also been unverified reports of their presence on the Comoro island of Mayotte. Bushpigs are mainly nocturnal. There are several subspecies.
Heliciculture, commonly known as snail farming, is the process of raising edible land snails, primarily for human consumption or cosmetic use. The meat and snail eggs can be consumed as escargot and as a type of caviar respectively. Mucus, commonly known as snail slime, has medical properties and is used in cosmetics.
The Tamworth, also known as Sandy Back and Tam, is a breed of domestic pig originating in its namesake Tamworth, Staffordshire United Kingdom, also with origins starting in Caribbean countries, with input from Irish pigs. It is among the oldest of pig breeds, but as with many older breeds of livestock, it is not well suited to modern production methods and is listed as "Threatened" in the United States and "Vulnerable" in the UK by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, as fewer than 300 registered breeding females remain. This animal is of ginger to red colouration and is thought to have descended from wild boars, via native pig stock of Europe. Principal populations today are in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada.
Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a pork producer and food-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world. In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield's pigs. Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion. Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world's largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.
Industrial agriculture is a form of modern farming that refers to the industrialized production of crops and animals and animal products like eggs or milk. The methods of industrial agriculture include innovation in agricultural machinery and farming methods, genetic technology, techniques for achieving economies of scale in production, the creation of new markets for consumption, the application of patent protection to genetic information, and global trade. These methods are widespread in developed nations and increasingly prevalent worldwide. Most of the meat, dairy, eggs, fruits, and vegetables available in supermarkets are produced using these methods of industrial agriculture.
Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, also known by its opponents as factory farming, is a type of intensive agriculture, specifically an approach to animal husbandry designed to maximize production, while minimizing costs. To achieve this, agribusinesses keep livestock such as cattle, poultry, and fish at high stocking densities, at large scale, and using modern machinery, biotechnology, and global trade. The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption. There are issues regarding whether intensive animal farming is sustainable or ethical.
The Large Black pig is a British breed of domestic pig. It is the only British pig that is entirely black. It was created in the last years of the nineteenth century by merging the black pig populations of Devon and Cornwall in the south-west with those of Essex, Suffolk and Kent in the south-east. It is hardy, docile and prolific; it forages well and is suitable for extensive farming, but not well suited to intensive management.
Animal feed is food given to domestic animals, especially livestock, in the course of animal husbandry. There are two basic types: fodder and forage. Used alone, the word feed more often refers to fodder. Animal feed is an important input to animal agriculture, and is frequently the main cost of the raising animals. Farms typically try to reduce cost for this food, by growing their own, grazing animals, or supplementing expensive feeds with substitutes, such as food waste like spent grain from beer brewing.
A pig toilet is a simple type of dry toilet consisting of an outhouse mounted over a pigsty, with a chute or hole connecting the two. The pigs consume the feces of the users of the toilet, as well as other food.
Pig farming or hog farming is the raising and breeding of domestic pigs as livestock, and is a branch of animal husbandry. Pigs are farmed principally for food and skins.
The Ossabaw Island hog or Ossabaw Island is a breed of pig derived from a population of feral pigs on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, United States. The original Ossabaw hogs are descended from swine released on the island in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. A breeding population has been established on American farms off the island, but they remain a critically endangered variety of pig.
Precision livestock farming (PLF) is a set of farming practices, including the use of advanced technologies, to deliver better results in livestock farming. Those results can be quantitative, qualitative and/or addressing sustainability, and the technologies involved include cameras, microphones, and other sensors for tracking livestock, as well as computer software. PLF is a tool for management of livestock by continuous automated real-time animal monitoring to improve production/reproduction, health and welfare, and environmental impact. Large animals are tracked "per animal", however other animals, such as poultry, are so far yet tracked "per flock". The whole flock in a house is tracked as one animal, especially in broilers.
Wallowing in animals is a comfort behaviour during which an animal rolls its body about in mud, water or snow. Some definitions include rolling about in dust, however, in ethology this is usually referred to as dust bathing. Wallowing is often combined with other behaviours to fulfill its purpose; for example, elephants will often blow dirt over themselves after wallowing to create a thicker "coating", or pigs will allow the mud to dry before rubbing themselves on a tree or rock to remove ectoparasites stuck in the mud.
The environmental impact of pig farming is mainly driven by the spread of feces and waste to surrounding neighborhoods, polluting air and water with toxic waste particles. Waste from pig farms can carry pathogens, bacteria, and heavy metals that can be toxic when ingested. Pig waste also contributes to groundwater pollution in the forms of groundwater seepage and waste spray into neighboring areas with sprinklers. The contents in the spray and waste drift have been shown to cause mucosal irritation, respiratory ailment, increased stress, decreased quality of life, and higher blood pressure. This form of waste disposal is an attempt for factory farms to be cost efficient. The environmental degradation resulting from pig farming presents an environmental injustice problem, since the communities do not receive any benefit from the operations, and instead, suffer negative externalities, such as pollution and health problems. The United States Agriculture and Consumer Health Department has stated that the "main direct environmental impact of pig production is related to the manure produced.
This glossary of agriculture is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in agriculture, its sub-disciplines, and related fields. For other glossaries relevant to agricultural science, see Glossary of biology, Glossary of ecology, Glossary of environmental science, and Glossary of botany.