Snowden: Caring for Our Animals Goes Far Beyond Just Doing Chores

pig farmer of tomorrow

posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 in AMVC Employee Blog

Animal care is at the forefront of every day on the farm. It’s important to me because I want to make sure that our pigs are as comfortable as they can be. If the animals are not well cared for, we would not be able to produce a healthy and safe product for our consumers to enjoy.

I start my day by observing my pigs and checking the high and low temperatures of every air space in the barn. I also make sure each animal is given the correct amount of feed. While doing chores, I make sure that every pig is eating and is mobile with no injury or sickness. I attend to those animals and treat any sick ones if necessary. As I move through the barn, I check the air quality. After these tasks are finished, water nipples are checked and water troughs are filled. Then, the morning chores are documented as being completed.

In the breeding barn, I follow the weekly vaccination schedule given to us by our veterinarian and treat any sows that are not feeling well. On the farrowing side, the sows are checked to see if their piglets are getting milk from their mother. The piglets have heated mats that are dry and warm, so they don’t get cold or be in their mother’s way of laying down. At the end of the day I do another walkthrough of each part of the barn to make sure all pigs are doing well before I leave for the day. The hallways and main walkways get cleaned, so the animals stay as healthy as possible.

There are many protocols in place to help ensure the best animal care is performed on the farm every day. Before I or any of my team members started working with the pigs, we were certified in Pork Quality Assurance and later trained in Transportation Quality Assurance. I also teach other employees through hands-on training on the farm to help our team give the best care to the animals on the farm. We use a daily checklist to make sure we don’t forget to check temperatures, air quality and animal health and record our initials after the task to hold each other accountable. Our veterinarian monitors our farm and makes sure we implement best practices and adapt to new animal care advancements.

As a pig farmer, I do what I do so the animals have the best environment possible to thrive in. I care about the health of our animals and I am passionate about keeping them healthy.

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