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  1. Bob Dryer says

    I wouldn’t rely on the opinion of Chris Chinn alone for your info. I would do some research on the topic. Gestation crates were put in place for economic benefit and there is a lot of science that support and do not support their use. Many are divided on the topic. Keep in mind her building specs and hog numbers are determined by her contract with the company that supply the hogs.

    All CAFO’s are required to have a nutrient management system in place as per DNR requirements – as determined by the number of head on the farm.
    I believe she does take good care of her animals. Her buildings are clean and well kept. She is an excellent example of how these animals should be taken care of in a CAFO environment.

    I also have a problem with the argument that new hog housing regulations will cause them to have fewer hogs and be less productive…wouldn’t that also allow new farmers to enter the field and pick up the slack? Back before hog producers were so large and few under contract – there were many independent hog producers (like the way cattle are raised today). Is that a bad thing? I don’t understand the close mindedness of the subject.

    • dairycarrie says

      I agree that information shouldn’t come from only once source. But I believe that Chris is a positive voice in the industry and a good person to go to with questions.

    • Dannielle says

      the use of these crates is not just “economic benefit”, that’s the upside of good management- by being able to better assess each individual animal’s health and well being and prevent animal on animal aggression injuries, production is increased. there’s no benefit (and no reason) to use a system where it’s difficult is not impossible to individually monitor animals and prevent them from coming to harm.

      I don’t own any hogs (or dairy cows or beef cattle). I have visited a number of farms over the last few years getting more involved and educating myself and seen how and why some producers choose different methods. After getting my hands dirty and my eyes opened, I am perfectly content in purchasing pork products from gestation and farrowing crate systems. I believe it is a product that is safe and affordable for my family and provides quality care for the animals.

      We don’t order out much, I prefer to make all of our meals from scratch, but I think we may order a Domino’s pizza or two this weekend in appreciation of the fact they prefer to listen to the people doing the hands on work, 24-7-365, and not a group of folks who have no interest in ever eating a single bite of the pork produced,no matter the method.

  2. the beth says

    I’ve tried them twice within the last year myself since they launched their new campaign. Their crust was really good (buttery!). We not only had the pizza (artisan spinach/feta, and regular pepperoni) but a pasta breadbowl sans breadbowl (chicken carbonara), and a sandwich (chicken habanero… sweet & spicy!). Everything we had was scrumptious. Their elevated (and successful) efforts in service, satisfaction, and quality received 2 pizza sauce-coverered-thumbs up from me.

  3. Chris Chinn says

    Your pictures make me hungry! Thanks for watching our video too. As a point of clarification for Bob, we own all of our livestock, we are independent hog farmers which means we do not raise hogs for any one but ourselves. We own our hogs until the day we send them to market. Our family had a Nutrient Management Plan in place prior to DNR requiring farms to do so. At the time our video was made, it was not a requirement by DNR.

    We chose our barn design with the help of our veterinarian and nutritionist because they are the experts. As Danielle pointed out, we are able to give our sows individualized care by using our stalls and we have prevented the bully sow from injuring other sows. We can monitor individual needs of each sow daily, we think this is important. My family has used group housing too, and we found the stalls better protected the sows and we were able to prevent many problems from occurring. What works on our farm may not work on my neighbors farm, and that is ok.

    • Bob Dryer says

      Chris, thank you for your point of clarification. I appreciate it. I hope you did not think I was attacking your farm or family. I think you are doing an excellent job promoting agriculture. I was just pointing out things I thought might be important when looking at these types of operations. Concerns I have personally. Especially with gestation crates. I at one time did raise hogs and know the agressive behavior you are talking about. I’ve also read the science for the other side. It suprised me that you own the hogs you raise. And as you have said what works on your farm – may not work on another. Once again thank you for your response.

  4. Chris Chinn says

    Bob – I didn’t take your comment as an attack. It’s a common misconception made by many people today. People do not realize there are still quite a few independent hog farmers around. As I mentioned earlier, our family has used both group housing and independent housing. Our sows are in much better condition by using the stalls. We no longer have sows that overeat and give birth to pigs that are too big to pass through the birth canal. Since you have raised pigs, you know that results in serious complications for the sow and puts her at risk of infection and death. We also no longer have sows that have been injured by fighting. Our sows health is better monitored by using the stalls. As our veterinarian pointed out to us, when the sow willingly walks into the stall, you know they are comfortable. We have left the gates open before on accident, the sows never leave the stall. And I firmly believe each family needs to make decisions based on what works best for their herd, family and farm. We rely on our veterinarian and nutritionist to help us design the care we give our animals. We are always striving to improve with their help and guidance. Thanks for the conversation, it’s the best way to clear up assumptions and guesses!

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