The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on May 15, 1962 · Page 12
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 12

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 15, 1962
Page 12
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A YEAR FROM HOGS Making big money from hogs and available land is no accident for this successful business farmer. There's a practical standard of performance set for every operation —and it's carried out. tlalph Sullivan of Dehjhi, Indiana is a man of busi- "ness. It was evident from the moment he Invited this reporter into his den for the interview arranged earlier by telephone. *Hie farts and figures he furnished were quite in keeping with this appearance.Sullivan is the founder and manager of his own $100,000 a year business. He is also one-third of the total labor force for this enterprise which turns out 2,400 to 2,500 head of top quality ihogs a year. All are farrowed on the farm and are fed out on some 33,000 bushels of com grown on the 325-acre farm -which is manned by himself, his partner-son Bob, and one hired man. When Ralph moved to Ais farm he bought a few sows and farrowed his first litters, as a sideline to the broiler business. His experience with hogs itemed to make up Jiis mind to ,get out of broilers ™ i9 5&-As be saw ft tins was the end of the era of «qpportnmry for the independent brofler producer. He cleared out the birds and bought feeder pigs to match bis supplies of grain. Shortly he was in the business of finishing feeder pigs exclusively, turning off 3,000 head a. year. Study of his records (he is one of the business- minded fanners who have their accounts analyzed by professionals from Purdue University in the farm record keeper program) convinced him he was missing his greatest opportunity for profit It was taking from 3.8 to 4 pounds of feed to get a pound or gain with feeder pigs. There were other handicaps: The price of feeder pigs has no reliable relation to the price they will bring as market hogs some four months later. And the carcass quality of- the feeder pig offerings was not good enough to satisfy Ralph Sullivan. "It costs no more, perhaps less, to produce the best type of lean meat hogs. The good ones are worth more oh the market and the producer can enjoy the non-cash," but worthwhile, benefit of pride in what he markets." Instead of putting his feed, labor and overhead into the $10 kind of feeder pigs, he wanted to feed out pigs worth $14 a head just off the sow. That land wasn't to be found. But the clincher was this: In all fairness, and as the result of bargaining at the feeder pig auctions, the producer of the 40 pound weanling pig shares equally in the profit per hog with the man who puts on the 180 pounds of gain still needed to get him to market For all of these reasons Ralph Sullivan made a firm decision to farrow his own. Instead of feeding out 3,000 head for half the profit, he is marketing an average of better than 600 pigs from each farrowing—2,400 to 2,500 head a year. He is growing them out with a saving of from one-half to three-quarters of .a pound of feed for each pound of gain Since he started farrowing his own, all replacement gilts are chosen from litters of 10 or more pigs weaned, or as few as 8 or 9 if from a highly promising gilt litter. On the 3 by 5-inch canine posts over every stall he keeps a running account of the sow's performance with her litter. About 25 percent of the litters are eamotched for identification later. These are the best litters at birth. As the pigs develop he weighs the most promising litters as a guide to selection of replacement gilts. Four times a year — in December, in February, June and August — Sullivans bring in a group of 72 sows heavy with pig to the farrowing house. An electric hoist of one ton capacity lifts a platform elevator which can take two sows at a time to the second and third floors. Each sow is confined in a farrowing stall with a creep space on either side which makes it virtually impossible for her to lie on a pig. For an hour, each morning and an hour at evening all sows are turned out of the narrow stalls to the feeding and watering space in front of each group of three pens. Each group of three sows has access to one side of a self feeder and to a water fountain. When the pigs are 10 days old partitions that divide the creep space, are removed and three Utters run together. Pigs have their own creep feeders filled with starter ration, but even before their own feed interests them, they start eating with the sows. In this way they learn early to help themselves to creep rations. Every pig gets an iron shot at two to four days of age, and is eamotched if he belongs to an exceptionally good litter. Boar pigs are castrated at 10 days. When the litters in a group of three reach six weeks of age, the sows are removed. Then when all are weaned, the whole pig crop of 600 head or more goes into the feeding lot on the rented farm. Here they are on a complete ration of ground feed which provides from % to X of a poundof fortified protein supplement per pig per day. When they are accustomed to their new quarters all pigs are vaccinated for cholera and erysipelas. Their average age at this time is eight weeks. They go into the feedlot weighing about 28 pounds. When they reach 80 pounds they go over New Farmhand Model 25... Rakes cleaner, faster... . costs less! FARMHAND'S MODEL 25 COSTS YOU AT LEAST $100 LESS than most other rakes. Yet it does a far better job . . . picking up all the hay there is to get—light or heavy—on even the roughest or rocky terrain. Since hay velocity is 45% lower than with bar type rakes, you save valuable leaves and seeds. Since windrows are fluffy, hay dries quickly and you have a better chance to beat the weather. Lightweight Model 25 follows tractor easily over any terrain. No PTO, gears, belts, ratchets, pulleys . . . virtually no maintenance. Today-ask your Farmhand dealer for a demonstration. Farmhand fIBST IN .FARM MATERIALS.HANDUNG HAND CRANK simultaneously lowers all five raking wheels to exact raking pressure you wish . . . raises wheels quickly for fast transport at highway speeds behind car, truck, tractor. Farmhand Model 25 has simple one- pin hook-up and only 10 Ibs. drawbar weight —a child could handle it! FOR WINDROW TURNING, lower the rear two raking wheels. They'll neatly roll the windrow completely over putting damp hay on top. Another feature: you can offset rake so that tractor wheels do not pass over unraked hay. Optional wheel shields prevent tangling of hay in windy weather. INFORMATION! Write; THE FARMHAND COMPANY Dept. RG-52 Hopkin., Minn. Ple<j»e send literature <>„_ I om a .tuderrt, ,end ipetiol material I ] Town .Stole

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