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In the agricultural industry, farmers are required to perform a number of duties daily. This is especially true for farmers who must spend their time regulating and maintaining the animals stocks on a farm. One of the most important kind of farmers are ones that focus on pigs. According to a 2003 study, pork meat accounts for 38 percent of the world's meat consumption. Because of this, pig farmers are an essential worker within agriculture.
Pig farmers must watch over pigs and make sure they are healthy. Daily requirements include regular feeding and making sure all the pigs have access to clean water. Pig farmers must also maintain the shelter where the pigs live. This can include maintaining the roof or infrastructure of the shelter and cleaning the areas where the pigs defecate.
A pig farmer must also check the health of all the pigs daily, which may involve routine veterinary exams. Checking pulses and heartbeats are one example of a vet check the pig farmer may perform. Other examinations may include checking to see the pigs are walking okay so their bones or muscles are not hurt. A pig farmer may also feel the pig if there any lumps on its body, a sign of tumors or cancer. Besides these checks, any visual sign the pig may be sick with a virus or bacterial infection is done by taking temperatures or blood samples.
A pig farmer must select certain pigs for the process of breeding. The babies from breed pigs may be sold on the market to other farmers for high prices, depending on the health and vitality of the baby. A pig farmer must choose the right males and females for the breeding process so that a healthy offspring may be produced. Traits such as consistent health across a lifetime and the pigs' heredity records can help a pig farmer select a fit male and female to breed.
Most of the work a pig farmer does is office-based, mostly paperwork concerning orders for pig food or supplies and transferring pigs to other farms for breeding or slaughtering purposes. Pig farmers also have to keep financial and health records of the pigs to give to local governments. Since the pigs will most likely be slaughtered, larger agricultural farms that process pig meat and government health boards require a pig farmers paper work. If there is concern over the health of the pigs that are slaughtered, government officials can track the pigs to the original farm.
Mark Fitzpatrick began writing professionally in 2006. He has written in literary journals such as Read Herrings and provides written online guides for towns ranging from Seymour, Connecticut to Haines, Alaska. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Massachusetts.