New 4-H market hog project resource
“Your 4-H Market Hog Project” resource offers tips and information for youth raising market hogs.
Many Michigan youth are selecting their 4-H market hog animal for summer fairs and shows. Michigan State University Extension has a new resource available to assist members and leaders with their swine project. “Your 4-H Market Hog Project” is a compilation of information to address the rewards and challenges of raising and caring for an animal. The “Your 4-H Market Hog Project” booklet is available for purchase in print form or a downloadable PDF from the MSU Extension Bookstore.
This newly revised resource contains specific information for the 4-H swine project, with 4-H youth, parents and volunteers as the target audience. The booklet will help to increase knowledge and understanding of a variety of topics including record keeping, animal selection, early care and management, facilities and equipment, feeding and nutrition, common diseases, showing swine, pork quality assurance, animal marketing, and animal care and well-being. The newly revised resource will assist youth in having a well-rounded market hog experience.
Caring for a hog requires forward thinking and creating a plan of how to see the project through to the end. This resource is a guide to help youth set goals and keep records to ensure animals are well cared for and objectives are reached. The resource continues to help youth select their project animal based off their goals and basic selection criteria. As the pig grows, so does the content of each chapter, providing information for animal management and nutrition through all stages of life. Youth will find figures and illustrations, providing visual learning tools that will assist the youth as they raise their swine project animal.
In addition to management strategies, two chapters of the resource are devoted to animal health and well-being. The first focuses on common diseases in swine production and strategies to identify, prevent and if needed, treat the project animals. As with any illness, it is important to have a veterinarian-client-patient relationship to ensure proper diagnosis of illnesses. The second chapter focuses on animal care and well-being. This chapter defines animal well-being and provides concrete examples to assess the animals’ state and address misconceptions.
Additional chapters include preparation for exhibition and marketing swine projects. Other ideas and opportunities for 4-H youth are also featured throughout the resource. It is our intent that this resource be a helpful aid to 4-H youth to help ensure a positive animal science learning experience. The revision of this curriculum piece was funded by a Michigan 4-H Participation Fee Grant.