Cando, N.D., hog facilities take root in durum country

NORTH DAKOTA - When it's done and fully operational, Hexagon Farm will have 6,000 sows delivering 2.5 litters a year.

In rural Cando, hogs soon will be coming and going. They're already going. They're going to slaughter, having been fattened at the Dakota Country Swine finishing barns.

In its 26 months, the business has taken 120,000 hogs weighing 50 pounds and fed them until they're 260 pounds and ready for the butcher in Minot or Sioux Falls, S.D.

Seven miles away, hogs soon also will be coming. Next month, sows in the Hexagon Farm farrowing operation will begin being impregnated.

"Three months, three weeks and three days after they're bred, we'll have piglets," owner Jim Gibbens said gleefully.

Jim Gibbens is the operator of Hexagon, named for his six children. His facility is under construction. When it's done and fully operational, he'll have 6,000 sows delivering 2.5 litters a year. With the average litter numbering 10, Hexagon will be producing 150,000 piglets a year.

They will stay at the barns for 21 days, until they're 12 pounds, then slipped to a nursery in Iowa or Nebraska. At 50 pounds, they move to finishing barns. On an average day, Hexagon will have 6,000 sows and 9,000 piglets, while Dakota Country Swine will have 21,000 hogs. The numbers show the growing trend of mass production of livestock. So, hogs have moved into an area long famous for its durum wheat.

Source: Grand Forks Herald
calendar icon 13 February 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
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