Posted 2/11/2019 22:05 (#7315049 - in reply to #7314054) Subject: RE: Kooiker
pigfarmerj - 2/11/2019 15:45 Just checked with my feed salesman that knows quite a bit about these units. He said 5-6 guys could easily run a 1200 sow farrow to wean pasture operation. I was like you and was real skeptical of the viability of these units but after a tour my mind was changed. Lots of differences in costs, for instance my pigs had $1.50 in interest costs at that time that my neighbors did not have. The price per pig back 20 years ago was in fact comparable, however I would imagine that the progress in P/S/Y should favor confinements today. But again that is speculation without seeing records from the outdoor units in operation today. I'm kinda suprised that the NAT crowd that can put in a crop with a 4440 and 7000 planter have such a struggle thinking pigs couldn't be raised that way. They can but not many people are willing to do it. That being said I'm going to stick with my confinement operation. And my Autosteer etc
In 20 yrs time the productivity of the sows that were moved into confinement has dang near doubled. In 20 yrs time the cost of labor has doubled.
If anyone wants to raise hogs outside more power to them. But they'd be putting themselves at a serious disadvantage trying to compete against the big boys (commercial hog production, not a niche market) needing 6 guys to take care of 1200 sows that likely only produce 18,000-24,000 pigs/year.
The 5000 sow unit has 4 times the sows and produces 6-8 times the pigs and does it with double the work force. The labor cost in the pasture farrowing system is going to be around $12-15 per pig vs ~ $4 per pig out of the confinement.
$8-11 per pig is a huge disadvantage to start with on a weaned pig, just on labor cost. That doesn't even address the extra feed cost on the pasture system because you're producing less pigs/sow.
Even a 1200 sow confinement farrowing setup has a hard time competing against a 5000+ sow unit on pig cost. There are very real gains due to efficiencies of scale in pig production.
Like I said, more power to those that want to raise hogs outside but there are many good reasons that hogs moved indoors and herds got bigger.