Lafayette County Fair: Swine Ultrasound

Swine barn, Lafayette County Fair.

Because of my background as a certified swine ultrasound technician, the fair superintendent asked me to line-up a technician.  Ultrasound is used to evaluate a hog’s carcass.  Below is a picture of the technician with the probe on a hog’s back.  The information is entered into a computer and a formula is used to rank the hogs on percent lean.

The measurements taken are backfat and loin muscle area.  These two statistics, along with the weight of the hog, are used in the percent lean formula.  Look at the screen in the picture below and see if you can see the layer of backfat above the roundish loin muscle area, (pork chop).  Also visible is a rib in the lower right-hand corner.

Even though I used to be an ultrasound technician, I miss the old days when we actually measured the carcass.  We would show our hog at the fair on Friday.  Sell it at the auction on Saturday.  Load it onto the trailer on Sunday.  And see it’s carcass hanging on the rail on Wednesday.

One summer my sister went to band camp and as introductions were made, each camper told what they had been doing this summer.  When it was my sister’s turn, she said, “I got a blue ribbon at the carcass show.”

5 Responses to Lafayette County Fair: Swine Ultrasound

  1. James MIller says:

    Are the bottles of liquid in front of the ultrasound equipment some sort of oil or lube used on the back of the pig for sonic conductivity, sort of like they do with pregnant women?

  2. Karen Ferguson says:

    you reminded me of my local fair and the farm component…your sisters remark about her summer is hilarious.
    Thanks for the photos.
    I can’t help myself. After adopting the WestonPrice way of eating, bacon is my very favorite meat of all time and I treat myself once a week. That’s plenty and color me happy!

    Karen in CA.

  3. curiousfarmer says:

    Yes, James, vegetable oil is used.
    Karen, sometimes it seems nothing changes here, but ultrasounding swine shows change does happen.
    Thanks for your comments!

  4. The shmoo says:

    I remember one time when we transported a hog and bale of hay i was astonished the pig consumed the entire bale.

  5. I was looking at the picture of the crate used for scanning hogs, could you give me the dimensions of it and any tips on building one? I am going to be doing hogs here in the Northwest. Thanks

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