Posted 2/11/2019 11:31 (#7313421 - in reply to #7313087) Subject: RE: It could be done
pigfarmerj - 2/11/2019 09:35 There used to be large scale outdoor weaned pig production in southern illinois less than 20 years ago. 1200 sow pasture units I would have to check but I think 5-6 employees. IIRC weaned pig cost was similar to that of weaned pig cost in a confinement unit. Might be hard to believe but I had 2 neighbors getting pigs from these units while I was getting mine from a 1200 sow confinement we compared notes and the price per pig was comparable. I believe they were set up to AI at these units also. So weaned pigs would be raised in temparate climates and shipped closer to corn to be finished in deep pack bedded barns with access to the great outdoors. FE would probably decrease in the finishing phase so more cost there. Finishing facility costs would be drastically reduced but labor costs would rise significantly, more than the offset from decreased facility costs. Someone with more ambition than I have could probably figure out those numbers. Cost of the system shouldn't be limiting. Producers willingness to work is the big problem not cold weather in the winter or mud in March. Producer acceptance to physical labor has been on a downward tumble ever since John Deere released the SoundGard cab in 72 or 73.
Being someone that farrowed pigs outside in the past and currently receive pigs from a 5000 sow farrowing unit I call BS on the cost per pig being the same.
It just isn't going to happen. Even with no building costs the pigs/sow/year on the pasture farrowing isn't high enough to offset the extra labor cost.
FYI, even in a confinement, labor is the second biggest cost behind feed. In a pasture system I would expect labor cost/pig to be higher than feed costs.
Also FYI, 5-6 guys are not going to keep up with 1200 sows pasture farrowing. Not going to happen.