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Dimensions of the Modern Pig

Isabella C. F. S. Condotta, Tami M. Brown-Brandl, John P. Stinn, Gary A. Rohrer, Jeremiah D. Davis, Késia O. Silva-Miranda
Transactions of the ASABE v.61 no.5 pp. 1729-1739
Duroc, Yorkshire (swine breed), automation, barrows, color, drinking, equipment, equipment design, genetic lines, gilts, landraces, nose, nutrition, shoulders, sires, stanchions, tail
It is important to know the physical dimensions of livestock to properly design confined animal housing facilities as well as feeding and drinking equipment. An engineering standard for the dimensions of livestock and poultry published by ASABE reports swine dimensions that were originally published in 1968. Changes in animal husbandry practices for swine, such as improved and new genetic lines, nutrition and feed form, and improved facility and equipment design, make it necessary to validate or update these dimensions for modern animals. The objective of this study was to evaluate dimension data for the grow-finish stages of modern pigs. A total of 150 growing-finishing pigs were sampled at five approximate ages: 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks old (30 animals at each age). The animals equally represented three commercial sire lines (Landrace, Duroc, and Yorkshire), and equal numbers of barrows and gilts were sampled. Dorsal and lateral color digital and depth images were collected using a Kinect sensor as the pigs were held individually in a stanchion or scale, and the images were analyzed by manual and automated methods. Measured physical dimensions included height from top of back to the floor, length from nose to base of the tail, width at shoulders, jowl length, front leg height, body depth from top of back to lowest point of the belly, and others. It was determined that the conformation of modern pigs has changed from the dimensions reported in current engineering standards such that modern pigs tend to be wider (15.1%) and shorter in height (-10.2%) and length (-4.9% on average) between 4 and 20 weeks of age. These updated pig dimensions will enable engineers to better design modern swine equipment and facilities. Keywords: Depth sensor, Dimensions, Image analysis, Precision livestock farming, Swine.