BPEX blog

Monday, 27 February 2012

How many gilts and how to manage them?

Calculating replacement gilt numbers and the criteria for gilt selection and management were among the key topics for our latest stockman training in the south. Vet Jennie Batt trained the Wiltshire and Oxford groups and Annie Davies trained the group in Devon – 28 stockmen in total.

They outlined how to calculate the numbers of gilts required, taking into account replacement and conception rates, time in isolation and time taken to clean and disinfect the pen.

Jennie showed the stockmen photos of different gilts, and asked them to decide which gilts they would keep or not , based on criteria for selecting replacement gilts – genetic traits, toes, legs, teats and external genitalia.

Feed and water requirements of the growing gilt were covered along with body condition scoring and how to increase or decrease scores, for example, a 0.2kg increase in feed per day to bring about a 0.5 point increase in body condition score.

Annie highlighted the importance of the wean-service interval and how the number of empty days impacts on litters per sow per year and numbers of pigs produced.
Contact Charlotte West, knowledge transfer manager for the south of England, for more details on training or pig club meetings in the region.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Follow BPEX on Twitter

You can now follow me for the latest news from the BPEX Knowledge Transfer team, tips and ideas plus stories from my whereabouts: @2TSPigs_Lis

Get regular updates from the Pig Health Improvement Project too by following: @BPEXPigHealth

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Practical ideas for weaning - diary dates

The BPEX 2TS Focus on Weaning event is being held in March in three locations:

Monday 19 March Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester
Tuesday 20 March Diss Rugby Club
Wednesday 21 March Wetherby Racecourse

Local producers will speak about how they help get their weaned piglets off to a good start and industry experts will discuss appropriate use of antimicrobials, piglet physiology and nutrition – with plenty of practical ideas to take back to the farm. The afternoon will be rounded off with an interactive quiz.

To save a place at their regional event, producers can email clancy.smith@bpex.ahdb.org.uk or telephone 0247 647 8792. A full programme and registration details will be sent in the post and available online soon at www.2TS.org.uk

The closing date for registration is Monday 12 March 2012.
Attendance is free for producers. There is a charge of £20 plus VAT per delegate for non-producers. Students will receive a 50% discount.