R. Bras. Zootec.10/Aug/2018;47:e20170331.
Characterization of a non-industrial pig production system: the case of Bísaro breed
This study aimed to characterize the current production system of the Bísaro pig breed. Between February and April 2017, 194 questionnaires covering different aspects of the system were sent as a disclosed identity mail survey. A response rate of 31.4% was obtained. The typical Bísaro farmer is 46 years old, male, has five years of experience rearing pigs, and has a secondary or higher education degree. Piglets represented the majority of animals sold for slaughter (91.1%) and constituted 41.1% of total Bísaro meat produced with 343 tons. The majority of producers differentiate feed per production group (79.3%) and allow grazing (73.7%). Feeding is usually complemented with own-farm crops (94.7%). Traditional housing system remains the most common (52.6%), but free-range camping systems had a considerable expression (40.4%). All year-around farrowing system (91.2%) without heat detection (65.5%) and limited use of artificial insemination (12.5%) characterized the reproduction management. Males are commonly castrated at 29 days, before weaning at 35 days. Categorization of farms showed some significant differences: smallholders (n = 33) belonged to a single producer, had family-based work, and reproductive management was predominantly less strict; non-industrial medium-sized holdings (n = 26) operated as commercial-based farms with larger production, greater farm areas, and more advanced technology. Although the survey demonstrated variability within farms, Bísaro production system was characterized, and two different types of farms were identified. This study provided the tools needed to discuss and revise some management practices, mainly those that revealed noncompliance with EU regulations, to enhance consistency of Bísaro products.