Results of this trial show a $.50 per pig profit advantage in favor of the hoop system over confinement. Feed efficiency was approximately the same for the two systems. A $.50 per pig difference in profits is a relatively small amount. Average daily gain was better for the hoop system: 1.82 pounds per day compared to 1.69 for confinement. This led to a revenue advantage for the hoop system. This advantage was partially offset by a grade and yield advantage for the confinement pigs. Death loss was slightly higher for the hoop-raised pigs.
Although profits per pig were similar between the two production systems, there were differences in the cost structure. Fixed costs were higher for the confinement system, whereas operating costs were greater for the hoop system. These results are consistent with previous studies and expectations, because confinement systems require large capital outlays for facilities. Hoops require higher operating costs for items such as bedding and feed.
Selection between production systems with comparable levels of profit can be difficult. Management style and personal preferences will play a big part. Other important considerations will be access to resources that differ between the systems, such as bedding, capital for facilities, and labor availability
Iowa State University
Larson, Ben; Kliebenstein, James; Honeyman, Mark S.; and Penner, Arlie, "Economics of Finishing Pigs in Hoop Structures and Confinement; A Summer Group" (2001). Swine Research Report, 2000. 33.