Thursday, July 18, 2024

Processing of Pig Products and Record Keeping

Pig processing into pig products start by transporting them to the slaughter house. The method, by which they are restrained, transported and the stress to which they are subjected becomes very important.

The final phase of pig production is the sale and disposal of the end product. The pig is extremely versatile in terms of the number of product which can be derived from pig meat.

Transportation of Pigs to Markets

The stress of transporting pigs to the slaughterhouse can result in pigs dying in transit, dying in lairage, at the slaughterhouse, or reduced meat quality in the carcass.

The stresses which confront the pig are the handling at loading and unloading, the new surroundings, mixing with strange pigs, the physical discomfort of the journey, and most importantly under tropical conditions, heat stress.

Measures taken to minimize these stress include:

Ensure that the loading ramp is properly designed with solid walls and is at the correct height for the cart, truck or trailer.

Handle the pigs quietly and gently at all times. Avoid the use of sticks and prodders.

Do not feed pigs for 12 hours before loading.

Avoid loading and traveling during the heat of the day.

Spray the pigs with cold water before loading and again in the truck.

Provide cover on the truck, good ventilation, adequate bedding and ensure the floors are not slippery. Make sure the sides of the truck are high enough to prevent the pigs jumping out. If possible, subdivide animals into groups of 10 or fewer, and never mix pigs of different weight.

Do not stop en route to the slaughter house.

1. Lairage

It is important to pen the pigs waiting to be slaughtered under shade and in small groups and sprayed with water, and feed only if there are long delays before slaughter.

Pigs should be handled and driven quietly and gently at all times and supervised to prevent fighting.

As far as possible, avoid fear, they should be penned away from the sights and smells of the slaughtering process.

All the potential profits which have been achieved during the growing period can be nullified by deaths or damage at this stage.

2. Slaughter Procedure

For reasons of animal welfare, pigs should always be stunned before they are bled. Effective stunning ensures prompt and more complete bleeding and also minimizes intensive muscle contraction. The main methods of stunning are:

Mechanical: A captive-bold pistol or other implement is used to stunned the animal.

Electrical: A pair of tongs is used to apply an electrical charge to the pig’s head. A current of 1.25 amps and 300 to 600 volts renders the pig unconscious within one second.

Gas: Pigs can be led into a tunnel containing 70 to 80 percent carbon dioxide, when they will lose consciousness within two seconds.

3. Bleeding

Immediately after stunning the animal should be suspended by it hind legs and the blood vessels of the neck completely severed to ensure thorough and complete bleeding. The blood should be collected in clean vessels.

4. Scalding and De-Hairing

By immersing the carcass in water at 65 to 75◦C, the hair is loose and can be removed by scraping.

Any excess hair can be burn of by a flame. For small scale farmers who are slaughtering on the farm, a drum of water over fire is adequate for scalding purposes.

Or alternatively where water is scarce, and if the skins are not used, de-hairing can be achieved by covering the carcass with a 5cm deep layer of straw or dry grass and burning it. The skin can then be scraped to remove the carbonized surface and any remaining hair.

Read Also : Guide to Proper Pig Housing and Its Equipment

5. Evisceration

A long cut is made down the belly from the breast to the hams. To prevent the meat being contaminated, the entire length of the gut should be removed intact.

Other internal organs can be separated, and the gut emptied and cleaned away from the rest of the meat.

6. Meat Hygiene

The freshly killed carcass is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and hygienic conditions are of paramount importance to prevent infections. Ideally carcass should be chilled immediately after slaughter, and the meat should remain chilled until it is cooked.

Where refrigerator is not available, carcasses should be hung in a cool room, protected from flies by gauze, and then sold and eaten as soon as possible.

At any slaughterhouse, all carcasses should be examined by a qualified meat inspector. He examines the carcass and offal critically for signs of parasites infections (e.g. measly pork, ‘milk-spot’ livers, damaged lungs, etc.).

Meat that does not pass inspection is condemned and should be burnt. The carcass slaughtered from pigs on the farm should also be examined critically so that the transmission of disease and parasites from pigs to humans can be avoided.

7. Marketing

The main systems of marketing pigs are:

Private sales: This is the most common method in the tropics among small scale producers. One, or a number of pigs are sold to local consumers, other producers, butchers or middlemen.

The pigs are sold live and the price is generally subject to negotiation this system has the advantage of being the simplest, but in rural areas individuals who are not aware of current prices can be taken advantage of by speculators and dealers.

Due to this problem, marketing co-operative have been formed in some rural areas to ensure adequate prices for producer members.

Public sales: This involve taking the pigs to a central market place, where they are sold by auction on a live basis to the highest bidder.

Direct sale to an abattoir or butcher: This is more applicable to a larger- scale producer. The big disadvantage of direct sales is the effect of the ‘pig cycle’. This is the notorious fluctuation in price which occurs in most countries.

When pigs are in short supply, prices rise, but this in turn stimulates increased production among producers, and consequently prices fall.

As it takes approximately a year for a producer to react to price changes, the cycle will occur every 12 to 18 months. This leads to lack of stability with producers going in and out of pig production.

Contact sales by entering into a contract with an abattoir to supply a certain number of pigs over a period at a set price, the producer is largely protected from the effects of the pig cycle. In turn, this allows him to plan his production output over a longer time.

Uses of Pig Meat

Processing of Pig Products and Record Keeping

Pig meats are marketed in the form of:

Fresh meat: This is the most important product in the tropics in general, as processing facilities are limited. Pig destined for the fresh meat trade are usually slaughtered at younger ages and lower weights (porkers) than those used for processing.

If sold in the commercial markets, the carcass can be butchered into a number of whole sale cuts which can be cooked and eaten in a number of different ways.

Cured products: These include the various bacons and hams which are curd in brine and can also be flavoured by hanging in smoke to increase the shelf life of the product compared with fresh meat. Bacon and ham are derived from the baconer category of pig, which is heavier than the porker.

Pigs Records Keeping and Monitoring

For those who intend to keep a number of pigs for breeding purposes it is essential to have a good system of record-keeping. This will help to keep track of developments, make comparisons and take decisions on the management of the herd.

It will also have a direct positive impact on daily management. Good record-keeping means noting down simply and clearly all important details and events. It can also be used to provide and record information for future activities.

It is important for example to calculate and note the next date for checking whether a sow is in heat or the date when she should farrow.

Such information should be marked on a card, in a notebook or on a calendar, so that any necessary preparation can start well in advance (for example preparing the farrowing pen for the sow).

For a farm of up to 3 sows, a system of record-keeping requires no more than a notebook or exercise book. Use a few pages for each sow, and note down all the important events.

For bigger farms it is good to use a separate farrowing card for each farrowing of a sow, and a sow card giving the details of all the litters of one sow Relevant information to record includes:

For a breeding sow:

The name/number of the sow.

The month and year of her birth.

Her parents’ names or numbers and breed.

Important events:

Date of 1st heat.

Date of 2nd heat.

Date of 3rd heat.

Date of mating, and name of the boar.

Result of the heat check three weeks after mating (did she come in heat again?).

Anticipated date of farrowing – mark this on a calendar!

The date for putting the sow in a farrowing pen (one or two weeks before farrowing). Mark this on the calendar too!

Actual date of farrowing.

Size of the litter, number of healthy piglets, number of still-born piglets and, if possible, the weight of the piglets.

Number and weight of piglets that have survived and have been successfully weaned (this gives an idea of the sow’s mothering qualities).

Other information to note:

Dates of illness, nature of the problem and the treatment and/or medicines administered.

Vaccination information

If a piglet is selected for further breeding, information should be transferred to the new page of records opened for that piglet in its new role as a breeding sow or boar.

It is important to record the boar’s activity and the results obtained, so that his performance can be assessed. The fertility of the boar is indicated by the size of the litters he produces and the percentage of sow’s in-pig after a first service (insemination rate).

In summary, you have learnt about the factors that have to be considered when pgs are to be transported in order to avoid stressing the animal. You have also learnt the procedures to follow during slaughter as well as the process pig meat into various products and market it.

Pigs should be transported with as little stress as possible. This will ensure that they get to slaughter in good condition.

Slaughter should be carried out without exposing the pigs to unnecessary fear and the carcass properly bled and processed as this process affects the quality of meat obtained and therefore the income that could be generated.

Different methods of stunning exist the farmer should choose the method that best suits him. Marketing is an important aspect production and should be taken into consideration when planning the pig enterprise.

Records of activities on the farm should be properly kept as they assist in providing information that is used in taking management decisions.

Read Also : The Products Derived from clinical wastes


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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