Science & Practice of Pig Production  - swine farm management diets & nutrition

The Science & Practice of Pig Production

Third Edition

by Prof. Colin T. Whittemore

Professor of Agriculture & Rural Economy & Head of the Institute of Ecology & Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh
Published by Blackwell Science

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    • Pig meat and carcass quality
    • Growth & body composition changes in swine
    • Reproduction & Breeding
    • Pig behaviour & welfare
    • Development & improvement of pigs by genetic selection
    • Disease prevention
    • Quality Assurance
    • Energy value of feedstuffs for hogs
    • Nutritional value of proteins, amino acids in feedstuffs
    • Value of fats in pig diets
    • Energy & protein requirements: maintenance, growth, reproduction
    • Requirements for water
    • Minerals and vitamins
    • Appetite, voluntary feed intake, digestion enhancers
    • Diet formulation
    • Optimisation of feed supply: growing pigs & breeding sows
    • Product marketing
    • Environmental requirements of swine
    • Production performance monitoring
    • Simulation modelling
    • Conclusions & Index


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Aimed at farming & veterinary professionals, geneticists, students and researchers in Agriculture, Animal Science, Genetics, Meat Technology, Veterinary Science, and Applied Ethology (animal behaviour).

This is a fully comprehensive handbook providing a clear and informative guide to the management, health and welfare of pigs. Practical elements of the text are derived from worldwide knowledge of production practices at farm level, while scientific aspects are dealt with in depth to allow full understanding. The information is presented in a style that encourages both practical and scientific reference. The text is illustrated throughout with tables, diagrams, photographs and figures, and the information is clearly presented, enabling immediate scientific and practical use.

        Topics covered include:
      • carcass and meat quality
      • breeding of improved genotypes
      • enhancement of reproductive efficiency
      • provision of animal care, health and welfare
      • maximization of economic benefit
      • protection of the environment
      • nutritional requirements and feeding practice
      • feed formulation
      • housing
      • performance monitoring

This new Third Edition includes substantive new material relating to quality assurance, welfare, pollution control, growth and meat quality, disease, biotechnology and feeding and management systems. The 624 pages are richly illustrated with hundreds of diagrams and photos.

Given that there is only a single author, the depth of coverage of individual topics is of course quite variable. For example, Colin Whittemore's personal specialities - nutrition and diets - are given particularly thorough coverage (161 pages), while disease and infertility get only 37 pages. Textbooks on pigs also face the horrendous problem of keeping up to date with an industry where change is fast and furious. The small section on Quality Assurance schemes, for example is clearly now inadequate and outdated. Perhaps an appendix of key pig information sources on the Internet would be a useful addition to the next edition - maybe also a CD-ROM version for rapid searching and lower cost.

Overall, one has to admire the author's courage in undertaking the huge task of generating so comprehensive a manual. At the same time, one has to acknowledge that it is nowadays clearly beyond the scope of any one individual to cover such a huge volume of intensely technical topics - even a "larger than life" author such as this, with his long and wide-ranging experience.

For reference purposes, this book is well-structured and reasonably well indexed. It is extensively illustrated with tables, diagrams and photographs, making it markedly "user-friendly". Unfortunately there is no reference or "further reading list". It is really a student textbook, but useful also for background reading by researchers and as a reference text for practising veterinarians who do a significant amount of pig production advisory work. It is no substitute for some of the excellent books now available on health and fertility of pigs.

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