TTU Swine Unit
About the Swine Unit
The Texas Tech New Deal farm consists of over 980 acres and has multiple research programs within Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences and the Department of Plant and Soil Science. The unit was founded in 1978 and originally was located on the North side of the livestock area later moved to the farm for a larger expansion.
A few sites of the facility include:
- An indoor swine research program and swine farrowing facility for the study of pigs
- A metabolism center for the detailed study of animal nutrition of various feed sources passing through the animal
The research farm is located on FM 1729, about 6 miles east of the town of New Deal, and a 20-minute drive from the Texas Tech campus. The farm has an elevation of 3,262 feet, and an average annual rainfall of 18.6 inches.
The Swine Unit is used for both research and education. Teaching laboratories are held at the farm and the facility is visited regularly by producers, school children, research partners, students and international visitors from all over the world.
Click to tour Swine Unit
Aerial View of the Farm and Swine Unit
Farrowing and Nursery Barn
Inside View (East Wing Nursery)
Tour New Deal Swine Unit by video
Swine Unit Supervisor
Upcoming Farrowing Dates -- Dates are approximate
|Farrow||# Sows||# Pigs||Pigs/litter||Wean date|
For a complete history of farrowing records of our sows, you may look at our Swine Records
Swine Unit Pig Use in Research
In order to use the pigs at the Swine Unit, please fill out the form below to the best of your ability. Do not forgot to email the accompanying forms requested in the form to Dr. John McGlone. We will return a response as soon as possible.
Current Per Diem Rates and Rules
This document was prepared in August of 2020. This information remains in effect until a new version is released or updated.
The Swine unit was built and is operated as an agricultural enterprise to support Animal Science teaching and research. We also wish to support people who conduct biomedical research or training. When pigs are used in biomedical research, they may be given drugs that are not approved for use in food animals. And, biomedical pigs are often euthanized at the end of the study. The cost of biomedical pigs is the cost of the pig, the cost of the under-utilized facilities, and the loss of profit from not selling the pig. Therefore, biomedical pig costs are higher than agricultural uses (when pigs are sent to market). The Swine Unit operates on a break-even model; however, when the market pig price fluctuates it may be necessary to adjust the cost of pigs and their care.
- When a room is partially used by a study, but other scientists can not use the other pigs or space in that room, the investigator will be charged for the whole room.
- If the research project requires additional labor from the Swine Unit staff, this will be charged to the project.
- If pigs are used and they grow slower or have a production loss, this loss will be billed to the project.
- All pig projects, whether agricultural or biomedical must first be discussed with the faculty member in charge or the Swine Unit Supervisor.
- Any pigs used in teaching or research must have the approval of the TTU IACUC before work starts.
- Any costs above normal production costs will be paid by the project.
- Sometimes extra costs are incurred because pigs are removed from the Swine Unit which prevents us from capturing the market price. This must be accounted-for.
Agricultural Swine Use costs
- When pigs are used for agricultural research, then these charges will apply for the pigs and the facility. If a set of pigs is used for 1 month and 1 day, they will be charged for 2 months.
- Stage of production Facility charge Per diem charge.
- Nursery $6/pen/month $0.05/day
- Grow-Finish $6/pen/month $0.10/day
- Gestation $12/sow/parity Not applicable
- Farrowing $12/sow/parity Not applicable
- Research building $1/day/pig Not applicable
Biomedical Swine Use Costs
Our pigs are considered high health animals. They are very valuable.
The facility charges and per diem charges above all apply to biomedical pigs. If the study requires more space per pig, then the full-pen space is charged, as if it is full of agricultural pigs. For example, if the pen normally holds 9 pigs and the study calls for 3 pigs per pen, then the per diem is as if the pen contains 9 pigs (ex., G-F pigs are $0.10/pig/day; if only three pigs are penned, then instead of $30/pen/day, the charge will be $0.90/pen/day). Keep in mind that the facility is usually full and so having fewer than the maximum pigs per pen is a real cost.
When pigs are euthanized or cannot enter the food chain, these charges apply:
Body weight, lb Price/pig
1-10 lb $100
11-50 lb $150
51-175 lb $200
Growing pigs 175-300 lb $300
Adult sow* $1,000
Any other pig size charges will be negotiated.
* We buy replacement females each 1-2 years. Taking an adult female out of the herd results in a loss of not just the piglets she has, but piglets she will have for several parities (could be 80+ pigs).
If someone wants breeding gilts brought in for a study, then they are purchased at cost + $100. If they are bred and enter the herd on a biomedical study, they will cost 5X the usual per diem and facility charges. The reason for this is that this is space that agricultural pigs cannot use. If purchased gilts leave the farm after quarantine, then there is no additional cost.
If pigs leave the farm, they cannot return for the good of the health of our pigs.