University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

4-H and Youth Swine Projects

Swine Project

Would you like work with a 4-H animal project that has a digestive system that is very similar to what you have?  If so, a swine project might be just what you are looking for.  Although we don’t typically feed pigs the kinds of foods that we as humans would eat (steaks, sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, etc.), pigs do have a digestive system that is much like yours and mine.  It is lots of fun to take a 30-70 pound feeder pig and feeding and caring for it for 4-5 months until it reaches market weight at about 270 pounds.  This type of project is called a market pig project.  A breeding pig project is also extremely rewarding and educational.  With this project, you start with a gilt (a young female pig) that is raised from a feeder pig and later mated and cared for through gestation and farrowing for the next year's programs.  Both of these swine projects are activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Swine projects provide youth with opportunities to expand their knowledge of swine production and, more importantly, develop the life skills that are needed to be positive contributors to society.  Through swine projects youth will learn about selection and evaluation, nutrition and feeding, health and daily care, reproduction, marketing, and much more.  Youth learn to accept responsibility, to value hard work, think critically, make decisions, and communicate.  In addition, there are several swine shows that youth can participate in to put on exhibition their swine project.  Swine shows provide a great avenue to meet and develop friendships with other youth and leaders from across the state. Young people are also able to connect with supportive adults (who serve as mentors), demonstrate a commitment to learning, develop social competencies and gain exposure to career opportunities.

Click here for information about Market Swine Validation Guidelines

Click here for information about Breeding Gilt Nomination Guidelines


RESOURCES
The following resources for Kentucky 4-H Swine Projects can be purchased from Ohio State University.  Please click here to be directed to Ohio State's eStore where these resources can be purchased.

Swine Resource Handbook for Market and Breeding Projects (4-H 134R) 

Market Hog Project and Record Book (4-H 139)

Swine Breeding Project and Record Book (4-H 140)

Beef, Sheep, and Swine Selection and Evaluation (4-H 103R)

 

Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program

The Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program is offered through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Division of Show and Fair Promotion. Whether you are a livestock producer, exhibitor, or both, the Kentucky Proud Livestock Tag Program can be utilized to promote and recognize quality animals that are sold, bought, and /or exhibited throughout the Commonwealth.  KY Proud animals exhibited through state sponsored livestock shows are eligible for additional premiums.  To learn more about this program, click here.

 

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