Young Farming Champion Laura Phelps is looking forward to cuddling up to the the Story of Pork at this year’s Archibull Prize Celebration and Awards Day
We are super excited about sharing how some of our Australian pig farmers are turning pig poo into power. You can read about how pork industry legend Edwina Beveridge is doing it on her farm at Young here
In the meantime here are some fun facts about pigs and the Australian Pork Industry
Fun Facts about Pigs
- Like humans, pigs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.
- A pig’s snout is an important tool for finding food in the ground and sensing the world around them.
- Pigs have an excellent sense of smell.
- There are around 2 billion pigs in the world.
- Humans farm pigs for meat such as pork, bacon and ham.
- Feral pigs that have been introduced into new areas can be a threat to the local ecosystem, environment and human health.
- Pigs can pass on a variety of diseases to humans.
- Relative to their body size, pigs have small lungs.
- Pigs eat anything – which means they are excellent recyclers of food waste, such as dairy and vegetable matter.
Australia Pork Industry Fast Facts
The Pork Industry
- Australia produces around 367,000 tonnes of pig meat every year. A little over 10% is exported to countries like Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and 25% is sold through restaurants and other food service outlets in Australia.
- Each year Australians consume around 24 kg of pork per person—this is made up of 9 kg of fresh pork and 15 kg of processed products such as bacon, ham and smallgoods
- During 2014-15, pork products accounted for just over 10% of Australia’s total fresh meat retail consumption
- Australian farmers produce around 4.85 million pigs a year
- The main source of food for Australian pigs is cereal grains such as wheat, barley and sorghum, resulting in a white fat around the outside of the meat.
- Pork production has a relatively small footprint and accounts for only 0.4% of the national greenhouse gas emissions
- Whether housed indoors or outdoors, a pig spends more time resting than any other domestic animal.
- Pig producers use the manure and effluent of their farms as a fertiliser to improve crops and pasture, or to capture methane gases to convert to energy.
- Numerous pig producers are now using their manure to generate electricity to power their whole farm.
- Australia’s pig herd health is one of the best in the world, free from many diseases found in most other pig producing countries.
- The feed component (mainly grains such as wheat, barley and sorghum) makes up about 60% of the total cost of producing pork.
- On average, a sow will produce 10–14 piglets per litter.
- Grower pigs eat the equivalent of about 3% of their body weight and drink about 10% of their body weight, daily.
- Pigs are considered to be smarter than dogs and are easy to train. This characteristic helps producers develop safe handling routines.
- Pigs are unable to perspire and they lose heat through their mouths. The ideal growing temperature for older pigs is 20–22˚C. Source: