Swine Facility

Swine Teaching and Research Center

The swine center is located 2 miles west of the core campus at 2953 Straloch Road, near the University Airport. The swine center is a specific-pathogen-free (SPF) facility. A scheduled appointment is necessary prior to entering the facility.

The swine center contains more than 9,000 square feet of inside, enclosed space that houses a class and meeting room, student apartments, lab, office, break room, storage area, feed and work areas, as well as two farrowing rooms and two nursery rooms. Each farrowing room has 10 crates, while each nursery room has the capacity to house 150 pigs. Outside covered space of over 24,000 square feet consists of boar and sow pens, finishing pens, hospital area, working and breeding areas, as well as load-out and feed-handling facilities.

The herd is composed of 60 sows and 13 males. The start-up herd was donated by PIC, an international swine genetics company. Currently the sow herd consists of a maternal PIC line, purebred Yorkshires, purebred Hampshires, and crossbred sows. Pigs from all lines are used for class work in numerous courses, and to provide hands-on experience for UC Davis undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students. Basic and applied research in several disciplines is conducted throughout the year.

The Swine Center farrows 10 litters each month and weans piglets at about 4 weeks of age. Records are kept on the PigKnows software program provided by Colorado Swine Data, LLC. The Animal Science Department holds an annual club pig sale each January.

At the Swine Facility, Kristina Horback studies pig personality.  She monitors the behavior of female pig from birth through puberty looking for behavior that would help predict aggression in female sows.