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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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The work of pig and poultry farmers: a large diversity of strategies, expectations, durations and productivity

INRA Prod Anim 25(2) 113-126

G. MARTEL¹ , C. DEPOUDENT², C. ROGUET³ , S. GALLOT⁴, C. PINEAU⁵

1 INRA, UR0980 SAD Paysage, 65, rue de Saint-Brieuc, CS 84215, F-35042 Rennes, France

2 Chambre d'Agriculture de Bretagne, Pôle Régional Porc Aviculture, 5 allée Sully, F-29322 Quimper, France

3 IFIP, Institut du porc, La Motte au Vicomte, BP 35104, F-35651 Le Rheu, France

4 ITAVI, Service économie, 4 rue de la Bienfaisance, F-75008 Paris, France

5 Chambre d'Agriculture de la Sarthe, 15, rue Jean Grémillon, F-72013 Le Mans, France

Abstract

Pig and poultry productions are often perceived as "industrial" since animals are kept indoors and the production rhythms are regular. This perception leads to the image of a work organization and duration that follows a similar schedule being consistent between farms. However, studies on the labor in those productions show a wide range of expectations, strategies, durations and work efficiency in relation with structural changes of the sector. In pig production, farm size increases, the use of hired labor also, and small farms disappear, in particular those with sows. In poultry production, the size increase is moderate, the alternative productions are common and farms are less specialized. Those evolutions are compared to European pig production. From an economical point of view all the strategies can be effective, the one reducing the charges, the other maximizing output per worker. At the farm scale, the stu-dies show a large variability of working time between farms in the two type of productions, which is mainly due to facilities and equipment, mechanization, the kind of species bred, batch number but also the role given by the farmer to the unit. Inter- and intraweek work organizations in pig production differ with the batch farrowing system and breeding practices. Finally, job content is changing: development of managerial skills, reduction of exhaustive tasks replaced by supervising tasks, data management and traceability monitoring. To conclude we illustrate the effect of a change in the production system on content, duration, organization and tiredness of the farmer's work.