Our animals

A healthy pig is a contented pig.


When it comes to our animals, we maintain the highest standards in animal welfare, on-farm management and practices.

Pigs have many different needs and requirements as they grow. From birth, weaning, mating and reproduction, our animals require specialised care to ensure quality of life and to prevent disease and illness.

Glossary of terms:

Adult pig – any pig over the age of 9 months

Arks or hutches – portable hut containing straw used to house pigs in paddocks, including for farrowing

Baconer – market pigs which weigh more than 55 kg liveweight (or 65–80 kg dressed weight)

Barrow – a male pig castrated before puberty

Biosecurity – the process to prevent diseases from entering an area, whether it is at a country’s border, between states and territories or an individual piggery

Boar – an uncastrated male pig over nine (9) months-of-age

Creep – an area of the piglet protection pen which is heat to keep the piglets warm

Deep litter system – a type of group housing system in which pigs are kept on a deep layer of bedding material, usually straw

Dry sow – an adult female pig that is between litters (does not currently have any piglets) and is not lactating

Entire male – a pig that has not be castrated

Farrowing – when a sow gives birth to piglets

Farrowing pen – see piglet protection pen

Feeder – equipment from which feed is dispensed

Feeding station – an enclosure used in group housing systems that animals enter into one at a time to be fed

Finisher – grower pigs over 70 kg liveweight

Foster – a management practice when a piglet is moved soon after birth so that it is fed by a sow that is not its mother

Free range – where all sows, boars and their piglets live outside, with access to shelter

Gestation – pregnancy

Gestation stall free sows and gilts kept in loose housing. For the Australian pork industry, this means from five (5) days after last mating until one (1) week before farrowing

Gilt (or maiden gilt) – a young female pig that has been selected to join the breeding herd but has not had her first litter

Grower – any pig between weaning and sale

Health treatment – any medication administered by oral dosing, injection, topical application to the skin or any other means

Herd – a group of pigs

Hutches – see arks above

Lactating sow – a sow that has given birth, and is producing milk to feed her piglets

Litter – all the piglets born to one sow from the same pregnancy

Loose housing – sows and gilts, either singularly or in groups, have freedom of movement i.e. they can turn around and extend their limb

Nurse sow – a sow that is used to suckle piglets that are not her own

Mated gilt – a female pig that has been mated, but has not had a first or gilt-litter

Mating – the deposition of semen into the reproductive tract of a sow exhibiting oestrus

Mating stall – a stall in which gilts and sows are kept individually for the purpose of mating

Monogastric – an animal with a single stomach, such as pigs, humans and poultry

Outdoor Bred: Raised Indoors on Straw – where sows and boars live outside all their life, and their progeny, when weaned, are bought inside into shelters and raised on straw

Piglet protection pen – a multi purpose pen that constrains the sow to protect her piglets from being squashed after farrowing (also known as a birthing pen or farrowing pen)

Piglet – a baby pig between birth and weaning (3-4 weeks of age)

Porker – market pigs weighing between 24 and 55 kg liveweight

Reproductive cycle – days from the conception of one litter to the conception of the following litter

Rooting – a behaviour of pigs where they use their nose to dig in the ground or in any available material

Slip – pigs between eight and 12 weeks of age or 20–40 kg

Sow – any breeding female that has farrowed a litter

Sow or gestation stall – a stall to separating pregnant sows so they can receive individual feed, water and care and to prevent aggression and bullying particularly during the critical stage of early pregnancy

Stall – an enclosure, closely related to the pig’s body size in which gilts, sows and boars are kept individually. Stalls are normally joined together in rows and may be used for total confinement or allow the pig free choice of access

Stockperson – a person who undertakes the day-to-day husbandry tasks associated with looking after pigs

Sucker – a pig between birth and weaning

Swill –food or food scraps that contain meat or meat product and any illegally imported dairy products or vegetable waste that has been contaminated by these products. It is illegal to feed swill to pigs. Also known as Prohibited Pig Feed

Wallow – a natural or artificial hole or hollow containing water or mud where pigs ‘wallow’ to cool off in hot weather

Weaner – pig between weaning and up to approximately 30 kg

Weaning – the permanent separation of a sow and suckers.




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