To keep my addled brain at work I do crossword puzzles every day and it is amazing how many times one of the questions is the home of a pig and the answer is always a sty.
To me that is not much of a compliment as a sty is described in the dictionary as a filthy or corrupt place.
How often do you hear the comment “the place was left like a pig sty”?
Years ago, pigs were kept in a sty but if looked after properly and cleaned out, they would do the job quite nicely for the old, fat type of pig we had then when they would be fed each day on household waste and swill.
Pig housing today is a completely different ball game and I am quite sure that if we were to keep a pig in a sty today, we would be fined and probably have a custodial sentence.
Modern pig housing is superb with proper heating, lighting, ventilation, ad-lib food and clean water and are extremely comfortable and efficient.
What some people fail to realise is that if a farmer keeps any animals in conditions like a sty, they would not thrive, not convert feed efficiently and would cost the farmer money!
Surely you must all know how tight farmers are supposed to be.
LED lighting is one of the newest things to enhance pig comfort as it takes the red out of the spectrum and that calms the pig.
In the wrong conditions, pigs can tail bite but with modern environments and the essential “toys” they have to have by law, they have a contented life and this is proven by the excellent feed conversions achieved today.
A friend of mine was one of the first to instal LED to a finishing house for pigs and he went in at night to see what effect it had had.
The room had a blue haze and he wondered what he had done but they were all sound asleep.