I seriously don’t know how people even did early mornings before travel mugs or Starbucks.  Early mornings, we are not friends.  Iced coffee, I love you.

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The sky was incredible as we headed east across Iowa. Zero filter or touch ups on this one.

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This big guy was kind enough to get over so we could easily pass.

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We visited 5 of this integrator’s barns on Tuesday and will be in a handful more today. We looked at each of the feeders, talked about water quality and flow, feed grind, pigs per feed space, pan coverage, barn layout, wastage, and all the other variables that affect how the feeders perform and ultimately, how fast and efficiently the pigs eat and gain weight.

Notice the sleeves of the guys’ suits above. This customer uses disposable biosecurity gear, but Tyvek gets SUPER hot, so they suggested chopping the sleeves off. We’re all about ventilation.

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Well, hello there.

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I’ve mentioned before that pigs like to chew on stuff – including their steel penning. Better the pen than my boots. (I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever seen a pig’s teeth. They’re kinda funny looking.)

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Most of the pigs raised for food production are White Landrace pigs. They’re pink as piglets, then whiten out as they grow up. (It’s actually their hair that’s white, so as it grows longer and thicker, the pink of their skin doesn’t show as much).  Their noses and ears retain the pink color. Most pigs have dark eyes, but sometimes you’ll see a blue-eyed babe like this one.

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Toward the end of the day we stopped by a barn with dry feeders. We happen to think there’s a lot of benefits for both pigs and producers with a wet/dry feeding system, but I’m glad farmers have the choice to raise animals with methods and equipment they’re comfortable with. I just like to see healthy, well-cared-for pigs. The bacon’s yummy either way.