Two types of pork grow-finish production facilities are hoop and total confinement. Results of this study of a group of hogs showed profit to be $3.46 per pig greater for the confinement-raised pigs. However, there were tradeoffs between the systems. As with previous group comparisons, confinement pigs had better feed efficiency, whereas the hoop pigs had lower fixed costs. The hoop pigs gained more weight per day but consumed more feed per pound of gain. A confounding factor in this study is that the confinement pigs were on feed for approximately 10 days longer than the hoop pigs.
The advantage of the hoop system is it low fixed costs, which were $5.78 lower than the confinement system. The results of this trial also suggest that the length of the trial may influence the results due to the difference in fixed costs. Average daily gains, which also may have been influenced by the disparagement of starting weights, favored the hoops.
Iowa State University
Larson, Ben; Kliebenstein, James; Honeyman, Mark S.; and Penner, Arlie, "The Economics of Finishing Pigs in Hoop Structures and Confinement; A Winter Group" (2001). Swine Research Report, 2000. 32.