The WKU Swine Unit functions as a demonstration and learning facility, and offers many opportunities for research and hands-on experience. As with other units of the WKU Farm, students in Livestock Management laboratories have the opportunity to learn correct processing and management techniques. Within 24 to 72 hours of birth, new litters are processed by clipping needle teeth, docking tails, notching ears, giving penicillin, and giving supplemental iron injections. Castrations are also completed before weaning.
The Swine Unit contains a Farrowing Barn with 12 farrowing crates; after sows farrow, the litters are then weaned at about 3 weeks of age and moved into the Nursery. At about 50-60 lbs, the pigs are then moved outside to the 6 Cargills to reach a market weight of about 250 lbs. Replacement gilts are moved into the Gestation Lots to be bred (either naturally or through AI), and the production cycle continues. The majority of hogs at the Swine Unit are Yorkshire or Duroc crosses.
The Goat Barn is also occupied several months out of the year for modern research in the goat industry.