The Beeler’s Animal Welfare Standards
Our family has always made it a top priority to treat our pigs humanely. Like all pork producers, we care deeply about the pigs we raise and their well-being, and we have implemented some specific practices that embody our definition of “humanely raised.” The Beeler’s standard of animal welfare is defined by the husbandry practices outlined below.
SOWS (AKA “MAMA PIGS”)
- Our sows are housed in large, unrestricted pens, allowing for social interaction and freedom to move around. We do not use any gestation crates on our farms.
- The sow barns are bedded with straw or cornstalks. Depending on the time of year, we adjust the amount of bedding to keep the sows comfortable.
- Our sow barns are naturally ventilated to allow air in and out depending on the outside temperature.
- Our sows have full access to a separate food and water court, located away from the bedded area, that provides a clean area for the sows to eat and drink.
- Our sows always have full outdoor access, giving them the freedom to move in and out of the barn as they please.
- When it is time for a sow to give birth, she is moved to a maternity ward. These are large enough to allow her to stand up or lay down and turn around, but they also provide protection to newborn piglets using strategically placed bars.
FINISHING PIGS (AKA WEANED PIGS THROUGH HARVEST)
Plain and simple, we follow logical animal husbandry practices. We believe that logic should prevail over perception, and we have many years of experience on which to base our logic. That is why our finishing barns (where our pigs are raised from weaning to harvest) adhere to the following practices:
- Our pigs are primarily housed indoors, with outdoor access available on some of our farms. Our naturally ventilated facilities provide protection from harsh weather, and keep pigs clean, comfortable and less prone to disease.
- Our pigs’ tails are docked shortly after birth to prevent them from chewing on the tails of other pigs, which causes severe pain and infection. Because we dock tails when pigs are so young, the pain is minimal, and the healing is quick.
- The pigs in our finishing barns are given enough space to comfortably lay down and enjoy social interaction. Frequent observations and temperature recording helps ensure the pigs are comfortable, clean, and healthy.
- By closely monitoring our pigs, we can quickly identify and treat sick pigs. If a pig does require antibiotic treatment to improve their health, we will treat them accordingly and then move them to a different barn so they can be identified separately from our “antibiotic free” pigs.