BPEX blog

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Post-weaning growth check can be avoided

The post-weaning growth check can be avoided, producers heard at our 2TS Focus on Weaning conferences this week.

While the growth check is a commercial fact on many farms, it is actually a scientific fiction, said Mick O’Connell from Devenish Nutrition (pictured left). For newly weaned pigs, the priority is to maximise water and feed intake – water can often be the ‘forgotten nutrient’ but feed intake is determined by water consumption, not the other way round.
Supplying plenty of clean water came up several more times when pig producers spoke about how they get weaners off to a good start on their farms, including Cameron Naughton (middle) who has outdoor weaners in the south west and Simon Colchester (right) who rears pigs indoors from 7kg in East Anglia.

Read more from the conferences on my Twitter feed @2TSPigs_lis and download all the presentations from the BPEX website later today.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Back to the drawing board..

Our staff training group at T Field in Yorkshire went back to the drawing board and came up with a revamped design of the department they work in, after four training sessions spent working on the project. I asked trainees to consider what the change of design was trying to achieve and how the system and pig flow would work – ideally done within the existing building, rather than building a new one.

The ideas included:
1 A new service/weaned sow area with 30 service stalls, five boar pens and with weaned sow pens fed by a trickle feeding system. The idea was to make serving easier and less labour intensive
2 A service area featuring an office with microscope to check semen quality, hot water, a computer and all recording to be done using I-Paqs. Their design also had a static washer with a pressure line, two feed bins and automatic feeding
3 A washing system with a fixed pressure pipe, 255 bar PSI pressure washer fitted on the whole unit via over and underground pipes. Issues would be costs and digging the pipes down, but the system would allow more drying time in the rooms. An estimated eight hours’ labour would be saved, which could be spent in the farrowing houses instead
4 A scrape-through dry sow yard with dump feeders and an integrated piping system for washing out.