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Photo report: Suingrass Farm - Italy

Pig Progress visited an Italian swine farm and learnt about the precarious situation of pig farming in Italy.

 

A full report on this farm visit in Italy can be found in Pig Progress 25.05.

Photo

  • This is what it all is about at Suingrass farm: certified ham production, either Parma ham or San Daniele ham. In order to get there, pig production needs to meet strict requirements.

    This is what it all is about at Suingrass farm: certified ham production, either Parma ham or San Daniele ham. In order to get there, pig production needs to meet strict requirements.

  • The breeding unit is located near the village of Novi de Modena, in Modena province. Here, Fontanesi keeps 850 sows.

    The breeding unit is located near the village of Novi de Modena, in Modena province. Here, Fontanesi keeps 850 sows.

  • Feed storage and compound meal production is also carried out in Novi de Modena.

    Feed storage and compound meal production is also carried out in Novi de Modena.

  • An on-farm mix-and-mill operation is operated by a computer system.

    An on-farm mix-and-mill operation is operated by a computer system.

  • Different meals are prepared here for e.g. lactating sows, gestating sows, weaners, growers and finishers. Ingredients include maize, soy, barley, corn, wheat bran and feed additives.

    Different meals are prepared here for e.g. lactating sows, gestating sows, weaners, growers and finishers. Ingredients include maize, soy, barley, corn, wheat bran and feed additives.

  • Sow breeds have to be 100% Italian to meet certified ham production standards. Hence, both Italian Large White GGP and Italian Large White GP sows can be found on-site.

    Sow breeds have to be 100% Italian to meet certified ham production standards. Hence, both Italian Large White GGP and Italian Large White GP sows can be found on-site.

  • GGP sows are inseminated with purchased semen of an Italian Large White sire; GP are serviced by purchased semen from Italian Landrace boar.

    GGP sows are inseminated with purchased semen of an Italian Large White sire; GP are serviced by purchased semen from Italian Landrace boar.

  • On-farm Italian Duroc boars are kept for servicing the F1 hybrid parent stock. These boars are a cross of on-farm Italian Duroc GP sows and purchased Italian Duroc semen.

    On-farm Italian Duroc boars are kept for servicing the F1 hybrid parent stock. These boars are a cross of on-farm Italian Duroc GP sows and purchased Italian Duroc semen.

  • The average number of piglets weaned/sow/year in Suingrass' farrowing rooms is 24.5. Piglets are vaccinated for e.g. mycoplasma and Aujeszky's disease.

    The average number of piglets weaned/sow/year in Suingrass' farrowing rooms is 24.5. Piglets are vaccinated for e.g. mycoplasma and Aujeszky's disease.

  • All piglets need to be marked to indicate their Italian origin. A special combination of letters and numbers refers to province the pig was born (Modena), on what farm (Suingrass) and in what month (B = March).

    All piglets need to be marked to indicate their Italian origin. A special combination of letters and numbers refers to province the pig was born (Modena), on what farm (Suingrass) and in what month (B = March).

  • This is the smaller of Fontanesi's finishing farms, located in Reggio Emilia province. A total of 2,500 finishing pigs can be kept here. In Mantova province, Fontanesi has a unit for another 9,000 pigs.

    This is the smaller of Fontanesi's finishing farms, located in Reggio Emilia province. A total of 2,500 finishing pigs can be kept here. In Mantova province, Fontanesi has a unit for another 9,000 pigs.

  • Growers are brought to the finishing farm when they are about 35 days of age.

    Growers are brought to the finishing farm when they are about 35 days of age.

  • A breath of fresh air – or not? Defecating zone for the growers is outside.

    A breath of fresh air – or not? Defecating zone for the growers is outside.

  • The growers and finishers all receive a liquid diet, which is a mixture of barley, wheat, maize and whey. The whey is a by-product from cheese production, which happens to be made across the road in a Parmesan cheese factory.

    The growers and finishers all receive a liquid diet, which is a mixture of barley, wheat, maize and whey. The whey is a by-product from cheese production, which happens to be made across the road in a Parmesan cheese factory.

  • When in finishing, the pigs reach an average daily gain of approximately 650 g/day; at a Feed Conversion Rate of 3.6.

    When in finishing, the pigs reach an average daily gain of approximately 650 g/day; at a Feed Conversion Rate of 3.6.

  • Heavy pigs can only be sent to slaughter when they have reached an age of nine months and one day. At Suingrass, the pigs weigh about 170-180 kg by then.

    Heavy pigs can only be sent to slaughter when they have reached an age of nine months and one day. At Suingrass, the pigs weigh about 170-180 kg by then.

  • It's not the ham size that these pigs are allowed to grow this large, but the amount of fat. Each certified ham needs to have a fat layer, necessary for proper salt conservation during seasoning.

    It's not the ham size that these pigs are allowed to grow this large, but the amount of fat. Each certified ham needs to have a fat layer, necessary for proper salt conservation during seasoning.

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