Flat Aggie Adventures
Follow Flat Aggie's Adventures as he tours Reicks View Farms! Flat Aggie Adventures is a six-month newsletter series geared towards a 3rd-5th grade reading level. Newsletter content meets both literacy and science Iowa Core Standards. We currently have four issues complete out of six.
Here is a little sneak peak from newsletter issues 1-4.
Issue 1: Farrowing Edition
This picture shows one of the employees assisting a sow with her farrowing. Just like doctors in a hospital, we can help a sow by sleeving her if a piglet gets stuck or administer any medicine she may need. These employees spend their entire day watching sows that are giving birth and help any that are having difficulties. We even have an employee working at night, so our sows have 18 hour a day care.
Issue 2: Weaning Edition
After about 21 days in the farrowing barns, it's time to wean the piglets! Weaning is when piglets begin eating solid food in place of their mothers milk. As you can see piglets can grow a lot in 21 days. This picture shows a wean age piglet on the left and a one day old piglet on the right.
Issue 3: Nursery Edition
Flat Aggie is grouping the piglets and checking to ensure that all are around the same size. This helps for individual space and food consumption. Piglets are in the nursery barn for 7 to 8 weeks or 50 pounds.
Issue 4: Finishing Edition
Finisher pigs eat between six and ten pounds of feed (food for animals) per day. Their feed consists of corn and soybeans along with vitamins and minerals that are essential to healthy growth. The feed is delivered to the barns and supplied to the pigs from feed bins such as the one Flat Aggie is climbing. One bin can hold between nine and fifteen tons, that is 18,000 to 30,000 pounds!
Issues 5 and 6 coming soon!
Ways to utilize Flat Aggie:
1. Print it off and have students write and highlight key points.
2. Print and laminate for multiple uses.
3. Keep the newsletter in online format and send to the students or display it in front of the class.
Ways to integrate Flat Aggie into your curriculum:
1. Guided reading time
2. Morning bell ringer
3. Science time
4. Individual reading time
5. Research project
Discussion topics for integration:
1. Identify the STEM careers involved with raising pigs.
2. Discuss how advances in agriculture have changed production over time.
3. Explore supply and demand and how it relates to our pork industry.
4. Ask students to identify key ideas.
5. Discover the different stages in the life-cycle of a market pig.