Employee Survey to Determine Movement Ease for Grow-Finish Pig Cadavers On-Farm using a Sked, Deer Sled and Modified Deer Sled

  • Anna K. Johnson (Iowa State University)
  • Kenneth J Stalder (Iowa State University)
  • Suzanne T. Millman (Iowa State University)
  • Jason W. Ross (Iowa State University)
  • Cassandra Jass (Iowa Select Farms)
  • John Stinn (Iowa Select Farms)
  • Ella Akin (Iowa State University)


The National Pork Board provides guidance about humane swine handling through the Pork Quality Assurance Plus and Transport Quality Assurance programs. While this guidance is useful, questions remain on best practices and design of handling tools with reference to moving non-ambulatory grow-finish pigs. The objective of this project was to test a sked, deer sled, and modified deer sled as a suitable handling tools for moving grow-finish pig cadavers as a model for non-ambulatory market-weight pigs. On-farm testing was accomplished using three pig cadavers (59, 91, 98 kg) to evaluate handling tool effectiveness based on an employee handling tool survey. For statistical analysis, the employee handling tool survey data was evaluated descriptively. Each employee was considered an experimental unit. Surveys were obtained from all five employees for all cadaver tasks. Rolling, positioning and repositioning cadavers, and moving from home- to hospital pen were all ranked as easy or very easy. Restraining the cadavers onto the sked was ranked as very easy and three employees commented on the ease of clipping the buckles. While the deer sled was ranked as difficult or neutral on restraining the cadavers. All employees commented on adding similar restraints as the sked’s, because the deer sled’s string restraints took time to secure. Size and weight of the sked and deer sled were ranked as easy, while the modified deer sled was ranked as very easy. Although employees ranked the modified deer sled similarly to the sked and deer sled, they commented that without restraint straps the modified deer sled would not be a preferred handling tool to move non-ambulatory market-weight pigs.

How to Cite:

Johnson, A. K., Stalder, K. J., Millman, S. T., Ross, J. W., Jass, C., Stinn, J. & Akin, E., (2019) “Employee Survey to Determine Movement Ease for Grow-Finish Pig Cadavers On-Farm using a Sked, Deer Sled and Modified Deer Sled”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 16(1). doi: https://doi.org//air.8037

Download PDF



Published on
19 Sep 2019