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Modelling fattening pig production systems: use of a dynamic, stochastic, mechanistic model

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Visuels de A. Cadéro et al., 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), 29 août-02 septembre 2016, Belfast, Irlande, Royaume-Uni

Pig livestock farming systems face economic and environmental issues. To cope with these issues, models of pig production performance have been developed. However, most of them do not account for the interactions between feeding strategies, management practices and variability of performance and requirements among pigs. Our aim was to develop a model representing the pig fattening unit, taking into account the effects of the interaction between the individual variability of pigs, the farmer’s practices and the infrastructure of the farm on the performance of the unit. The farmer’s practices included in the model have been chosen from a typology developed using a farm survey that focused on penning, batch management, feeding and delivery practices. The pigs are represented using an individual-based model adapted from the InraPorc model. The model abilities have been illustrated on a typical fattening unit batch management. Feed conversion ratio is 2.73 (±0.06) kg/kg, daily feed gain is 0.856 (±0.02) kg/d. The mean slaughter weight is 119.6 (±0.83) kg with a mean slaughter age of 176.0 (±1.89) days. This predicted performance is in accordance with the mean performance in French farms, considering the same batch management. This model will allows to evaluate the technical performance of a large range of fattening units, in terms of farm size, type of infrastructure and of management. In the near future, this model will be completed with calculation of economic results and environmental impacts of the pig fattening unit. 

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2017

Review: Towards the agroecological management of ruminants, pigs and poultry through the development of sustainable breeding programmes. II. Breeding strategies

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Agroecology uses ecological processes and local resources rather than chemical inputs to develop productive and resilient livestock and crop production systems. In this context, breeding innovations are necessary to obtain animals that are both productive and adapted to a broad range of local contexts and diversity of systems. Breeding strategies to promote agroecological systems are similar for different animal species. However, current practices differ regarding the breeding of ruminants, pigs and poultry. Ruminant breeding is still an open system where farmers continue to choose their own breeds and strategies. Conversely, pig and poultry breeding is more or less the exclusive domain of international breeding companies which supply farmers with hybrid animals. Innovations in breeding strategies must therefore be adapted to the different species. In developed countries, reorienting current breeding programmes seems to be more effective than developing programmes dedicated to agroecological systems that will struggle to be really effective because of the small size of the populations currently concerned by such systems. Particular attention needs to be paid to determining the respective usefulness of cross-breeding v. straight breeding strategies of well-adapted local breeds. While cross-breeding may offer some immediate benefits in terms of improving certain traits that enable the animals to adapt well to local environmental conditions, it may be difficult to sustain these benefits in the longer term and could also induce an important loss of genetic diversity if the initial pure-bred populations are no longer produced. As well as supporting the value of within-breed diversity, we must preserve between-breed diversity in order to maintain numerous options for adaptation to a variety of production environments and contexts. This may involve specific public policies to maintain and characterize local breeds (in terms of both phenotypes and genotypes), which could be used more effectively if they benefited from the scientific and technical resources currently available for more common breeds. Last but not least, public policies need to enable improved information concerning the genetic resources and breeding tools available for the agroecological management of livestock production systems, and facilitate its assimilation by farmers and farm technicians.

2016

La gestion des fins de bande en élevage porcin : analyse des stratégies décisionnelles des éleveurs et des enjeux économiques associés

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FR

Pour optimiser le paiement des carcasses, les éleveurs peuvent attendre que les porcs les plus légers d’une bande aient atteint leur poids optimal avant de les envoyer à l’abattoir. Une enquête réalisée dans 22 élevages naisseurs-engraisseurs du Grand Ouest a permis de caractériser différentes pratiques, telles que le départ échelonné des animaux ou, lorsque les salles doivent être vidées, le transfert des fins de bande vers des locaux spécifiques ou leur mélange avec les porcs des bandes suivantes. Ces pratiques s’accompagnent cependant de contreparties économiques liées à une consommation accrue d’aliment ou une augmentation du risque sanitaire. Une classification des élevages a été réalisée en lien avec les caractéristiques des ateliers et les données d’abattage disponibles (poids, taux de muscle). En parallèle, une bande de 144 porcs a été étudiée en station expérimentale, abattue en six départs étalés sur 57 jours. Le profil de croissance moyen des porcs de chaque départ a été établi à l'aide du logiciel InraPorc® à partir des mesures individuelles de poids et de consommation d’aliment, puis il a été utilisé pour simuler les performances de croissance associées aux différentes stratégies de commercialisation des derniers porcs de la bande. Ces simulations montrent que les animaux constituant les fins de lot suivent des profils moins performants que ceux des animaux abattus en premier. L’intérêt économique de prolonger leur engraissement est réel, puisqu’après 21 jours supplémentaires, le gain de marge se situe entre 11 et 20 euros par porc concerné selon le profil animal (contexte économique du premier semestre 2015).

ENG

Within-herd final management of batches for optimal marketing of slaughter pigs: analysis of strategies and associated economic issues

To maintain a profitable pig delivery, some farmers delay the last marketing from the batch so that the lightest pigs reach the optimal weight before their delivery to the slaughterhouse. According to the field investigation carried out in 22 farrow-to-finish farms in Western France, different strategies were identified, such as an increased number of departures per batch or, when the rooms have to be emptied, the transfer of the last pigs to the following batches or to specific facilities. But these practices may have negative consequences, such as increased feed intake or health risk. A classification of farms was made in connection with their characteristics and carcass data (weight, lean content). In addition, a batch of 144 pigs was studied in an experimental unit, marketed in six departures with the terminal delivery performed 57 days after the first one. Growth profiles per delivery were characterized with InraPorc® software from individual body weight and feed intake measurements, and used to simulate the growth performance of the lightest pigs of the batch with different marketing strategies. These simulations show lower performance for these “end of batch” pigs, in comparison with the first pigs slaughtered. Keeping them longer at the end of finishing period can bring between 11 and 20 euros bonus per pig, depending on the animal profile (in the economic context of the first half of 2015).

PDF icon Aubry et al., 48es Journées de la Recherche Porcine (FRA), 2-3 février 2016, Paris, p. 225-230
2016

Définir des stratégies alimentaires alliant performance économique et impact environnemental grâce à la modélisation du groupe de porcs en croissance

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Poster. InraPorc est un modèle et un outil destiné à l’évaluation de la réponse du porc à différentes stratégies nutritionnelles. Etant un modèle déterministe, InraPorc considère l’individu moyen et ignore la variabilité qui peut exister dans une population. En pratique, les stratégies alimentaires sont appliquées à une population et non à l’individu, et le choix d’une stratégie donnée a des conséquences économiques (prix d’aliment, paiement des carcasses) et environnementales : une partie de la population peut être nourrie au delà du besoin, accroissant les rejets.
PDF icon Définir des stratégies alimentaires alliant performance économique et impact environnemental grâce à la modélisation du groupe de porcs en croissance
2010