Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrifying bacteria into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates that are utilized by the plants as nutrients; the water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system. As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline. Aquaponics has ancient roots, although there is some debate on its first occurrence: Aztec cultivated agricultural islands known as chinampas in a system considered by some to be the first form of aquaponics for agricultural use, where plants were raised on stationary islands in lake shallows and waste materials dredged from the Chinampa canals and surrounding cities were used to manually irrigate the plants.
South China and the whole of Southeast Asia, where rice was cultivated and farmed in paddy fields in combination with fish, are cited as examples of early aquaponics systems, although the technology had been brought by Chinese settlers who had migrated from Yunnan around 5 AD. These polycultural farming systems existed in many Far Eastern countries and raised fish such as the oriental loach, swamp eel, common carp and crucian carp as well as pond snails in the paddies; the 13th century Chinese agricultural manual Wang Zhen's Book on Farming described floating wooden rafts which were piled with mud and dirt and which were used for growing rice, wild rice, fodder. Such floating planters were employed in regions constituting the modern provinces of Jiangsu and Fujian; these floating planters are known as either jiatian or fengtian, which translates to "framed paddy" and "brassica paddy", respectively. The agricultural work references earlier Chinese texts, which indicated that floating raft rice cultivation was being used as early as the Tang Dynasty and Northern Song Dynasty periods of Chinese history.
Floating aquaponics systems on polycultural fish ponds have been installed in China in more recent years on a large scale. They are used to grow rice and canna lily and other crops, with some installations exceeding 2.5 acres. The development of modern aquaponics is attributed to the various works of the New Alchemy Institute and the works of Dr. Mark McMurtry et al. at the North Carolina State University. Inspired by the successes of the New Alchemy Institute and the reciprocating aquaponics techniques developed by Dr. Mark McMurtry et al. Other institutes soon followed suit. Starting in 1979, Dr. James Rakocy and his colleagues at the University of the Virgin Islands researched and developed the use of deep water culture hydroponic grow beds in a large-scale aquaponics system; the first aquaponics research in Canada was a small system added onto existing aquaculture research at a research station in Lethbridge, Alberta. Canada saw a rise in aquaponics setups throughout the'90s, predominantly as commercial installations raising high-value crops such as trout and lettuce.
A setup based on the deep water system developed at the University of Virgin Islands was built in a greenhouse at Brooks, Alberta where Dr. Nick Savidov and colleagues researched aquaponics from a background of plant science; the team made findings on rapid root growth in aquaponics systems and on closing the solid-waste loop, found that owing to certain advantages in the system over traditional aquaculture, the system can run well at a low pH level, favoured by plants but not fish. Aquaponics consists of two main parts, with the aquaculture part for raising aquatic animals and the hydroponics part for growing plants. Aquatic effluents, resulting from uneaten feed or raising animals like fish, accumulate in water due to the closed-system recirculation of most aquaculture systems; the effluent-rich water becomes toxic to the aquatic animal in high concentrations but this contains nutrients essential for plant growth. Although consisting of these two parts, aquaponics systems are grouped into several components or subsystems responsible for the effective removal of solid wastes, for adding bases to neutralize acids, or for maintaining water oxygenation.
Typical components include: Rearing tank: the tanks for feeding the fish. Depending on the sophistication and cost of the aquaponics system, the units for solids removal, and/or the hydroponics subsystem may be combined into one unit or subsystem, which prevents the water from flowing directly from the aquaculture part of the system to the hydroponics part. By utilizing gravel or sand as plant supporting medium, solids are captured and the medium has enough surface area for fixed-film nitrification; the ability to combine biofiltration and hydroponics allows for aquaponic system to in many cases eliminate the need for an
A farm is an area of land, devoted to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops. The name is used for specialised units such as arable farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, dairy and poultry farms, land used for the production of natural fibres and other commodities, it includes ranches, orchards and estates, smallholdings and hobby farms, includes the farmhouse and agricultural buildings as well as the land. In modern times the term has been extended so as to include such industrial operations as wind farms and fish farms, both of which can operate on land or sea. Farming originated independently in different parts of the world, as hunter gatherer societies transitioned to food production rather than, food capture, it may have started about 12,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock in the Fertile Crescent in western Asia, soon to be followed by the cultivation of crops. Modern units tend to specialise in the crops or livestock best suited to the region, with their finished products being sold for the retail market or for further processing, with farm products being traded around the world.
Modern farms in developed countries are mechanized. In the United States, livestock may be raised on rangeland and finished in feedlots and the mechanization of crop production has brought about a great decrease in the number of agricultural workers needed. In Europe, traditional family farms are giving way to larger production units. In Australia, some farms are large because the land is unable to support a high stocking density of livestock because of climatic conditions. In less developed countries, small farms are the norm, the majority of rural residents are subsistence farmers, feeding their families and selling any surplus products in the local market; the word in the sense of an agricultural land-holding derives from the verb "to farm" a revenue source, whether taxes, rents of a group of manors or to hold an individual manor by the feudal land tenure of "fee farm". The word is from the medieval Latin noun firma the source of the French word ferme, meaning a fixed agreement, from the classical Latin adjective firmus meaning strong, firm.
As in the medieval age all manors were engaged in the business of agriculture, their principal revenue source, so to hold a manor by the tenure of "fee farm" became synonymous with the practice of agriculture itself. Farming has been innovated at multiple different places in human history; the transition from hunter-gatherer to settled, agricultural societies is called the Neolithic Revolution and first began around 12,000 years ago, near the beginning of the geological epoch of the Holocene around 12,000 years ago. It was the world's first verifiable revolution in agriculture. Subsequent step-changes in human farming practices were provoked by the British Agricultural Revolution in the 18th century, the Green Revolution of the second half of the 20th century. Farming spread from the Middle East to Europe and by 4,000 BC people that lived in the central part of Europe were using oxen to pull plows and wagons. A farm may be owned and operated by a single individual, community, corporation or a company, may produce one or many types of produce, can be a holding of any size from a fraction of a hectare to several thousand hectares.
A farm may operate under a monoculture system or with a variety of cereal or arable crops, which may be separate from or combined with raising livestock. Specialist farms are denoted as such, thus a dairy farm, fish farm, poultry farm or mink farm; some farms may not use the word at all, hence vineyard, market garden or "truck farm". Some farms may be denoted by their topographical location, such as a hill farm, while large estates growing cash crops such as cotton or coffee may be called plantations. Many other terms are used to describe farms to denote their methods of production, as in collective, intensive, organic or vertical. Other farms may exist for research or education, such as an ant farm, since farming is synonymous with mass production, the word "farm" may be used to describe wind power generation or puppy farm. Dairy farming is a class of agriculture, where female cattle, goats, or other mammals are raised for their milk, which may be either processed on-site or transported to a dairy for processing and eventual retail sale There are many breeds of cattle that can be milked some of the best producing ones include Holstein, Norwegian Red, Brown Swiss, more.
In most Western countries, a centralized dairy facility processes milk and dairy products, such as cream and cheese. In the United States, these dairies are local companies, while in the southern hemisphere facilities may be run by large nationwide or trans-national corporations. Dairy farms sell male calves for veal meat, as dairy breeds are not satisfactory for commercial beef production. Many dairy farms grow their own feed including corn and hay; this is stored as silage for use during the winter season. Additional dietary supplements are added to the feed to improve milk production. Poultry farms are devoted to raising chickens, turkeys and other fowl for meat or eggs. A pig farm is one that specializes in raising pigs or hogs for bacon and other pork products and may be free range, intensive, or both. Farm control and ownership has traditionally been a key indicator of status and power in Medieval European agrarian
A paddy field is a flooded parcel of arable land used for growing semiaquatic rice. Paddy cultivation should not be confused with cultivation of deepwater rice, grown in flooded conditions with water more than 50 cm deep for at least a month. Genetic evidence shows that all forms of paddy rice, both indica and japonica, spring from a domestication of the wild rice Oryza rufipogon that first occurred 8,200–13,500 years ago South of the Yangtze River in present-day China. However, the domesticated indica subspecies appears to be a product of the introgression of favorable alleles from japonica at a date, so that there are several events of cultivation and domestication. Paddy fields are the typical feature of rice farming in east and southeast Asia. Fields can be built into steep hillsides as terraces and adjacent to depressed or steeply sloped features such as rivers or marshes, they can require a great deal of labor and materials to create, need large quantities of water for irrigation. Oxen and water buffalo, adapted for life in wetlands, are important working animals used extensively in paddy field farming.
During the 20th century, paddy-field farming became the dominant form of growing rice. Hill tribes of Thailand still cultivate. Paddy field farming is practiced in Asia, namely in Cambodia, China, India, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos, in Europe, Northern Italy, the Camargue in France, in Spain in the Albufera de València wetlands in the Valencian Community, the Ebro Delta in Catalonia and the Guadalquivir wetlands in Andalusia, as well as along the eastern coast of Brazil, the Artibonite Valley in Haiti, Sacramento Valley in California, among other places. Paddy fields are a major source of atmospheric methane and have been estimated to contribute in the range of 50 to 100 million tonnes of the gas per annum. Studies have shown that this can be reduced while boosting crop yield by draining the paddies to allow the soil to aerate to interrupt methane production. Studies have shown the variability in assessment of methane emission using local and global factors and calling for better inventorisation based on micro level data.
The word "paddy" is derived from rice plant. Archaeologists accept that wet-field cultivation originated in China; the earliest paddy field found dates to 4330 BC, based on carbon dating of grains of rice and soil organic matter found at the Chaodun site in Kunshan County. At Caoxieshan, a site of the Neolithic Majiabang culture, archaeologists excavated paddy fields; some archaeologists claim that Caoxieshan may date to 4000–3000 BC. There is archaeological evidence that unhusked rice was stored for the military and for burial with the deceased from the Neolithic period to the Han Dynasty in China. There are ten archaeologically excavated rice paddy fields in Korea; the two oldest are the Okhyun and Yaumdong sites, found in Ulsan, dating to the early Mumun pottery period. Paddy field farming goes back thousands of years in Korea. A pit-house at the Daecheon-ni site yielded carbonized rice grains and radiocarbon dates, indicating that rice cultivation in dry-fields may have begun as early as the Middle Jeulmun pottery period in the Korean Peninsula.
Ancient paddy fields have been unearthed in Korea by institutes such as Kyungnam University Museum of Masan. They excavated paddy field features at the Geumcheon-ni Site near Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province; the paddy field feature was found next to a pit-house, dated to the latter part of the Early Mumun pottery period. KUM has conducted excavations, that have revealed dated paddy field features, at Yaeum-dong and Okhyeon, in modern-day Ulsan; the earliest Mumun features were located in low-lying narrow gullies, that were swampy and fed by the local stream system. Some Mumun paddy fields in flat areas were made of a series of squares and rectangles, separated by bunds 10 cm in height, while terraced paddy fields consisted of long irregular shapes that followed natural contours of the land at various levels. Mumun Period rice farmers used all of the elements that are present in today's paddy fields, such as terracing, bunds and small reservoirs. We can grasp some paddy-field farming techniques of the Middle Mumun, from the well-preserved wooden tools excavated from archaeological rice fields at the Majeon-ni Site.
However, iron tools for paddy-field farming were not introduced until sometime after 200 BC. The spatial scale of paddy-fields increased, with the regular use of iron tools, in the Three Kingdoms of Korea Period; the first paddy fields in Japan date to the Early Yayoi period. The Early Yayoi has been re-dated, it appears that wet-field agriculture developed at about the same time as in the Korean peninsula. Evidence of wild rice on the island of Sulawesi dates from 3000 BCE. Historic evidence for the earliest cultivation, comes from eighth century stone inscriptions from the central island of Java, which show kings levied taxes in rice. In ancient Java, during the Medang Mataram period, many inscriptions are related to the establishment of the sima lands; this signify the formation and expansion of Javanese agricultural villages in the region during this period. Either by opening a forest or converting a ladang to sawah. A sima is an arable wet rice agricultural land with rice surpluses available for taxation, recognised through royal edict.
Most of these sima lands are r
Cattle—colloquially cows—are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, are most classified collectively as Bos taurus. Cattle are raised as livestock for meat, for milk, for hides, which are used to make leather, they are used as riding animals and draft animals. Another product of cattle is dung, which can be used to create fuel. In some regions, such as parts of India, cattle have significant religious meaning. Cattle small breeds such as the Miniature Zebu, are kept as pets. Around 10,500 years ago, cattle were domesticated from as few as 80 progenitors in central Anatolia, the Levant and Western Iran. According to an estimate from 2011, there are 1.4 billion cattle in the world. In 2009, cattle became one of the first livestock animals to have a mapped genome; some consider cattle the oldest form of wealth, cattle raiding one of the earliest forms of theft. Cattle were identified as three separate species: Bos taurus, the European or "taurine" cattle.
The aurochs is ancestral to both taurine cattle. These have been reclassified as one species, Bos taurus, with three subspecies: Bos taurus primigenius, Bos taurus indicus, Bos taurus taurus. Complicating the matter is the ability of cattle to interbreed with other related species. Hybrid individuals and breeds exist, not only between taurine cattle and zebu, but between one or both of these and some other members of the genus Bos – yaks and gaur. Hybrids such as the beefalo breed can occur between taurine cattle and either species of bison, leading some authors to consider them part of the genus Bos, as well; the hybrid origin of some types may not be obvious – for example, genetic testing of the Dwarf Lulu breed, the only taurine-type cattle in Nepal, found them to be a mix of taurine cattle and yak. However, cattle cannot be hybridized with more distantly related bovines such as water buffalo or African buffalo; the aurochs ranged throughout Europe, North Africa, much of Asia. In historical times, its range became restricted to Europe, the last known individual died in Mazovia, Poland, in about 1627.
Breeders have attempted to recreate cattle of similar appearance to aurochs by crossing traditional types of domesticated cattle, creating the Heck cattle breed. The noun cattle encompasses both sexes; the singular, technically means the female, the male being bull. The plural form cows is sometimes used colloquially to refer to both sexes collectively, as e.g. in a herd, but that usage can be misleading as the speaker's intent may indeed be just the females. The bovine species per se is dimorphic. Cattle did not originate as the term for bovine animals, it was borrowed from Anglo-Norman catel, itself from medieval Latin capitale'principal sum of money, capital', itself derived in turn from Latin caput'head'. Cattle meant movable personal property livestock of any kind, as opposed to real property; the word is a variant of chattel and related to capital in the economic sense. The term replaced earlier Old English feoh ` property', which survives today as fee; the word "cow" came via Anglo-Saxon cū, from Common Indo-European gʷōus = "a bovine animal", compare Persian: gâv, Sanskrit: go-, Welsh: buwch.
The plural cȳ became ki or kie in Middle English, an additional plural ending was added, giving kine, but kies and others. This is the origin of the now archaic English plural, "kine"; the Scots language singular is coo or cou, the plural is "kye". In older English sources such as the King James Version of the Bible, "cattle" refers to livestock, as opposed to "deer" which refers to wildlife. "Wild cattle" may refer to undomesticated species of the genus Bos. Today, when used without any other qualifier, the modern meaning of "cattle" is restricted to domesticated bovines. In general, the same words are used in different parts of the world, but with minor differences in the definitions; the terminology described here contrasts the differences in definition between the United Kingdom and other British-influenced parts of the world such as Canada, New Zealand and the United States. An "intact" adult male is called a bull. A wild, unmarked bull is known as a micky in Australia. An unbranded bovine of either sex is called a maverick in the Canada.
An adult female that has had a calf is a cow. A young female before she has had a calf of her own and is under three years of age is called a heifer. A young female that has had only one calf is called a first-calf heifer. Young cattle of both sexes are called calves until they are weaned weaners until they are a year old in some areas. After that, they are referred to as stirks if between one and two years of age. A castrated male is called a steer in the United States.
Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes selective breeding and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long history, starting with the Neolithic revolution when animals were first domesticated, from around 13,000 BC onwards, antedating farming of the first crops. By the time of early civilisations such as ancient Egypt, sheep and pigs were being raised on farms. Major changes took place in the Columbian Exchange when Old World livestock were brought to the New World, in the British Agricultural Revolution of the 18th century, when livestock breeds like the Dishley Longhorn cattle and Lincoln Longwool sheep were improved by agriculturalists such as Robert Bakewell to yield more meat and wool. A wide range of other species such as horse, water buffalo, llama and guinea pig are used as livestock in some parts of the world. Insect farming, as well as aquaculture of fish and crustaceans, is widespread.
Modern animal husbandry relies on production systems adapted to the type of land available. Subsistence farming is being superseded by intensive animal farming in the more developed parts of the world, where for example beef cattle are kept in high density feedlots, thousands of chickens may be raised in broiler houses or batteries. On poorer soil such as in uplands, animals are kept more extensively, may be allowed to roam foraging for themselves. Most livestock are herbivores, except for chickens which are omnivores. Ruminants like cattle and sheep are adapted to feed on grass. Pigs and poultry cannot digest the cellulose in forage, require cereals and other high-energy foods; the domestication of livestock was driven by the need to have food on hand when hunting was unproductive. The desirable characteristics of a domestic animal are that it should be useful to man, should be able to thrive in his company, should breed and be easy to tend. Domestication was not a single event. Sheep and goats were the animals that accompanied the nomads in the Middle East, while cattle and pigs were associated with more settled communities.
The first wild animal to be domesticated was the dog. Half-wild dogs starting with young individuals, may have been tolerated as scavengers and killers of vermin, being pack hunters, were predisposed to become part of the human pack and join in the hunt. Prey animals, goats and cattle, were progressively domesticated early in the history of agriculture. Pigs were domesticated in Mesopotamia around 13,000 BC, sheep followed, some time between 11,000 and 9,000 BC. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan around 8,500 BC. A cow was a great advantage to a villager as she produced more milk than her calf needed, her strength could be put to use as a working animal, pulling a plough to increase production of crops, drawing a sledge, a cart, to bring the produce home from the field. Draught animals were first used about 4,000 BC in the Middle East, increasing agricultural production immeasurably. In southern Asia, the elephant was domesticated by 6,000 BC.
Fossilised chicken bones dated to 5040 BC have been found in northeastern China, far from where their wild ancestors lived in the jungles of tropical Asia, but archaeologists believe that the original purpose of domestication was for the sport of cockfighting. Meanwhile, in South America, the llama and the alpaca had been domesticated before 3,000 BC, as beasts of burden and for their wool. Neither was strong enough to pull a plough which limited the development of agriculture in the New World. Horses occur on the steppes of Central Asia, their domestication, around 3,000 BC in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea region, was as a source of meat. Around the same time, the wild ass was being tamed in Egypt. Camels were domesticated soon after this, with the Bactrian camel in Mongolia and the Arabian camel becoming beasts of burden. By 1000 BC, caravans of Arabian camels were linking India with the Mediterranean. In ancient Egypt, cattle were the most important livestock, sheep and pigs were kept; the Nile provided a plentiful source of fish.
Honey bees were domesticated from at least the Old Kingdom, providing both wax. In ancient Rome, all the livestock known in ancient Egypt were available. In addition, rabbits were domesticated for food by the first century BC. To help flush them out from their underground burrows, the polecat was domesticated as the ferret, its use described by Pliny the Elder. In northern Europe, agriculture including animal husbandry went into decline when the Roman empire collapsed; some aspects such as the herding of animals continued throughout the period. By the 11th century, the economy had recovered and the countryside was again productive; the Domesday Book recorded every parcel of land and every animal in Britain: "there was not one single hide, nor a yard of land, moreover... not an ox, nor a cow, nor a swine was there left, not set down in writ." For example, the royal manor of Earley in Berkshire, one of thousands of villages recorded in the book, had in 1086 "2 fisheries worth 7s and 6d and 20 acres of meadow.
Woodland for 70 pigs." Exploration and colonisat
Sheep farming is the raising and breeding of domestic sheep. It is a branch of animal husbandry. Sheep are raised principally for their meat and fiber, they yield sheepskin and parchment. Sheep can be raised in range including arid zones. Farmers build fences, shearing sheds and other facilities on their property, such as for water, feed and pest control. Most farms are managed so sheep can graze pastures, sometimes under the control of a shepherd or sheep dog; the major sources of income for a farm will come from the sale of lambs and the shearing of sheep for their wool. Farmers can select from various breeds suitable for their market conditions; when the farmer sees that a ewe is showing signs of heat or estrus, they can organise for mating with males. Newborn lambs are subject to tail docking and males may be castrated. According to the FAOSTAT database of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the top five countries by number of heads of sheep were: mainland China, India and the former Sudan.
In 2013, the five countries with the largest number of heads of sheep were mainland China, India, the former Sudan, Iran. In 2013, the number of heads of sheep were distributed as follows: 44 % in 28.2 % in Africa. The top producers of sheep meat were as follows: mainland China; the top five producers of sheep meat in 2013 were mainland China, New Zealand, the former Sudan, Turkey. In the United States, inventory data on sheep began in 1867, when 45 million head of sheep were counted in the United States; the numbers of sheep peaked in 1884 at 51 million head, declined over time to 6 million head. Since the 1960s, per capita consumption of lamb and mutton declined from nearly 5 pounds to just about 1 pound, due to competition from poultry, pork and other meats. Since the 1990s, U. S. sheep operations declined from around 105,000 to around 80,000 due to shrinking revenues and low rates of return. According to the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, the "sheep industry accounts for less than 1 percent of U.
S. livestock industry receipts." Crutching Dolly Domestic sheep reproduction Glossary of sheep husbandry Guard llama History of the domestic sheep Jacob Lamb marking List of sheep breeds Livestock guardian dog Mulesing Patagonian sheep farming boom Sheep shearing Sheep station, a large property for raising of sheep in Australia or New Zealand Shepherd Transhumance Carlson, Alvar Ward. "New Mexico's Sheep Industry: 1850–1900, Its Role in the History of the Territory." New Mexico Historical Review 44.1. Dick, Everett. Vanguards of the Frontier: A Social History of the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains from the Fur Traders to the Sod Busters pp 497–508. "Economic aspects of the Scottish sheep industry." Transactions of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 51: 39–57. Hawkesworth, Alfred. "Australasian sheep & wool.": a practical and theoretical treatise. Jones, Keithly G. "Trends in the US sheep industry". Minto, John. "Sheep Husbandry in Oregon. The Pioneer Era of Domestic Sheep Husbandry."
The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society: 219–247. in JSTOR Perkins, John. "Up the Trail From Dixie: Animosity Toward Sheep in the Culture of the US West." Australasian Journal of American Studies: 1–18. in JSTOR Witherell, William H. "A comparison of the determinants of wool production in the six leading producing countries: 1949–1965." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 51.1: 138–158. Media related to Ovis aries at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Sheep shearing at Wikimedia Commons Sheep at Curlie
Pig farming is the raising and breeding of domestic pigs as livestock, is a branch of animal husbandry. Pigs are sometimes skinned. Pigs are amenable to many different styles of farming: intensive commercial units, commercial free range enterprises, or extensive farming. Farm pigs were kept in small numbers and were associated with the residence of the owner, or in the same village or town, they were valued as a source of meat and fat, for their ability to convert inedible food into meat, were fed household food waste when kept on a homestead. Pigs have been farmed to dispose of municipal garbage on a large scale. All these forms of pig farm are in use today. In developed nations, commercial farms house thousands of pigs in climate-controlled buildings. Pigs are a popular form of livestock, with more than one billion pigs butchered each year worldwide, 100 million of them in the USA; the majority of pigs are used for human food but supply skin and other materials for use as clothing, ingredients for processed foods and medical use.
The activities on a pig farm depend on the husbandry style of the farmer, range from little intervention to intensive systems where the pigs are contained in a building for the majority of their lives. Each pig farm will tend to adapt to the local conditions and food supplies and fit their practices to their specific situation; the following factors can influence the type of pig farms in any given region: Available food supply suitable for pigs The ability to deal with manure or other outputs from the pig operation Local beliefs or traditions, including religion The breed or type of pig available to the farm Local diseases or conditions that affect pig growth or fecundity Local requirements, including government zoning and/or land use laws Local and global market conditions and demand Almost all of the pig can be used as food. Preparations of pig parts into specialties include: sausage, gammon, skin into pork scratchings, feet into trotters, head into a meat jelly called head cheese, consumption of the liver and blood.
This is technically, the case for all other mammals, although the demand is not there. Pigs are farmed in many countries, though the main consuming countries are in Asia, meaning there is a significant international and intercontinental trade in live and slaughtered pigs. Despite having the world's largest herd, China is a net importer of pigs, has been increasing its imports during its economic development; the largest exporters of pigs are the United States, the European Union, Canada. As an example, more than half of Canadian production in 2008 was exported. Older pigs will consume eleven to nineteen litres of water per day; the way in which a stockperson interacts with pigs affects animal welfare which in some circumstances can correlate with production measures. Many routine interactions can cause fear. There are various methods of handling pigs which can be separated into those which lead to positive or negative reactions by the animals; these reactions are based on. Many negative interactions with pigs arise from stock-people dealing with large numbers of pigs.
Because of this, many handlers can become complacent about animal welfare and fail to ensure positive interactions with pigs. Negative interactions include overly-heavy tactile interactions, the use of electric goads and fast movements, it can include killing them. However, it is not a held view that death is a negative interaction; these interactions can result in fear in the animals. Overly-heavy tactile interactions can cause increased basal cortisol levels. Negative interactions that cause fear mean the escape reactions of the pigs can be vigorous, thereby risking injury to both stock and handlers. Stress can result in immunosuppression. Studies have shown that these negative handling techniques result in an overall reduction in growth rates of pigs. Various interactions can be considered either neutral. Neutral interactions are considered positive because, in conjunction with positive interactions, they contribute to an overall non-negative relationship between a stock-person and the stock.
Pigs are fearful of fast movements. When entering a pen, it is good practice for a stock-person to enter with slow and deliberate movements; these therefore reduce stress. Pigs are curious animals. Allowing the pigs to approach and smell whilst patting or resting a hand on the pig's back are examples of positive behavior. Pigs respond positively to verbal interaction. Minimizing fear of humans allow handlers to perform husbandry practices in a safer and more efficient manner. By reducing stress, stock are made more comfortable to feed when near handlers, resulting in increased productivity. In other words, pigs are social and intelligent animals, if they are treated well, better meat can be obtained. Prohand for pigs is a training program that teaches handlers to interact with pigs in a way that promotes safe handling, it promotes elimination of negative behaviors. This program has been seen to improve produ