Swine Project

What is it All About?

The 4-H swine project helps you learn about swine breeds, health care, production, management, showmanship, marketing and careers in the swine industry.  Learn principles of animal science and gain life skills, like responsibility, by owning, caring for and keeping records on one or more head of livestock.  Gain knowledge of sound breeding, feeding and management practices.

Grow in Your Project

Starting Out

  • Learn breed names and descriptions
  • Identify swine body parts
  • Plan a facility to keep swine safe and healthy
  • Learn how to feed and water your pig
  • Identify how a normal pig looks and acts
  • Name and describe pork meat cuts

Learning More

  • Learn differences in preparing pork cuts by cooking and tasting
  • Explore normal pig characteristics
  • Understand swine management practices
  • Analyze and make decisions on how to solve swine issues
  • Formulate a swine ration

Going Further

  • Learn about swine genetics
  • Plan swine breeding
  • Explore farrow-to-finish facilities
  • Learn how to manage baby pigs
  • Balance a swine ration
  • Explore international swine markets


Resources

Take Your Project Further!

  • Visit a local feed mill and see how feed ingredients are mixed, weighed and blended to make a complete ration
  • Compare feed tags from different companies
  • Visit a local meat locker or local grocery meat case to observe preparation and packaging
  • Learn how to evaluate meat cuts, quality grade, yield grade and how these affect taste and cost
  • Ride with a local veterinarian to learn about animal health
  • Participate on a livestock judging team and compete in the State Livestock Judging Contest
  • Participate on a meat judging team and compete in the States Meats Judging Contest
  • Research swine by-products
  • Consider showing in your County Fair swine show or the Wisconsin State Fair

Applying Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communication Skills

  • Design a poster on parts of the animal
  • Participate in a judging contest giving oral reasons
  • Give a tail docking demonstration
  • Research state or national swine organizations
  • Interview agencies about environmental issues

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Volunteer to do swine promotion presentations
  • Provide pork taste testing at a grocery store to promote local food
  • Provide safe pork handling instructional handouts at local grocery stores
  • Bring a pig to a petting zoo

Learn about Leadership

  • Lead a swine showmanship and grooming session prior to your county fair
  • “Adopt” a younger person and help him or her explore the swine project
  • Plan and conduct a swine showmanship clinic for younger members
  • Arrange questions and hold a swine quiz bowl

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • Participate in the 4-H swine show
  • Create a Swine Show Kit
  • Consider an exhibit, notebook or display showing what you’ve learned in a swine-related topic
    • Nutritive value of pork
    • Pork meat cuts and proper preparation
    • Feeding rations
    • Importance of reading feed labels
    • Preventative vaccinations
    • Photos of different swine breeds
    • Daily routine in caring for animals
    • Grooming techniques
    • Best care techniques for newborns
    • Hog by-products
    • Bio-security measures for livestock farmers
    • Selection and how to judge a market hog or breeding gilt
    • Explain how to read pig ear notches


Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Swine. Retrieved from: https://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/projects/animal-science/swine.html.

*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.


Download a Printable Version of this Page

University of Wisconsin-Madison      |        Explore Extension: Agriculture Community Development Families & Finances Health Natural Resources Youth