Optimal Operation Scale of Hog Production for Farrow-to-Finish Farms

  • Huang, Y.H. (Dept. of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Lee, Y.P. (Dept. of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Yang, T.S. (Department of Applied Biology, Pig Research Institute Taiwan)
  • Received : 2000.11.14
  • Accepted : 2001.05.14
  • Published : 2001.09.01


This study analyzed the lowest production cost and the greatest profit to be obtained from marketing hogs to determine the optimal operation scale for family-owned farrow-to-finish farms. Data were collected from 39 farrow-to-finish farms with 500 to 5,000 inventories for two consecutive years, and treated with GLM and quadratic regression models using the REG procedure. Analysis results indicated that farms capable of marketing 2,933 and 3,286 hogs annually had the lowest production cost and the greatest profit, respectively. Further analysis attributed the lowest production cost or the highest return in farms with an optimal scale of 3,000 to a higher survival rate of the herd, as well as lower expenses in veterinary medicine, labor, utilities and fuel, transportation, and depreciation. A similar feed conversion efficiency was observed for all the farms studied. Obviously, the cost efficiencies were associated with the economy of the operation scale of hog production until it reached 3,000 hogs marketed annually for a family-run unit. Beyond the optimal scale of 3,000 hogs, good stockmanship was more difficult to maintain and the herd management deteriorated as increasing mortality confirms. It is conclude that, unless advanced management is applied, the operation scale should not expand beyond 3,000 hogs.


Farrow-to-Finish Operation;Production Cost;Economic Scale