BPEX blog

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Record turnout for online tour of Danish farms

More than 70 people attended our BPEX Live online workshop this week – the most since the series began – to see photos of new technologies and buildings on Danish pig farms.
These included loose farrowing pens, new weaned pig accommodation and a slurry cooling system to reduce ammonia emissions and extract heat.
Despite a technical hitch at the start of the workshop, viewers stayed online to ask the presenters more about the technologies and pig performance.

The presenters, Lis Ravn and Nigel Penlington from BPEX and Jonathan French from BOCM Pauls, travelled with a group of English pig producers, buildings manufacturers and feed consultants on the BPEX study tour to Denmark in March.

Running the online workshop, or ‘webinar’, was a way for them to share what they had learned with many more people across the industry.

It is an increasingly popular way for producers to gain new knowledge; everyone can join in online from their own home or office and they have the chance to join in and ask questions or just listen in and pick up some ideas.
The presentation on the Danish tour is now available to download from: www.bpex.org.uk/news/events/webinars/default.aspx 

Friday, 22 March 2013

New project to help manage seasonality

Pig producers met in Norfolk this week to discuss seasonality. My colleagues and I in the BPEX knowledge transfer team will now identify suitable interventions to trial to try and combat it. Points discussed included:
  • Plan ahead and have extra at least 10% extra gilts available for the seasonality period
  • Provide wallows, sprinklers, showers and shades for all stock, at all stages of production
  • Adjust the service routine so animals are served earlier in the day when cooler
  • Do not be tempted to reserve return sows and keep to the policy of: two returns as a gilt and one return for the rest of her life
  • If you are home breeding, do not select gilts from a dam that has returned during the summer period in case there is a genetic predisposition for seasonal infertility.
Look out for more on this soon. In the meantime, please get in touch if you have comments or questions and want to find out more. Please comment below or contact me directly.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Attention to detail

Attention to detail and doing routine tasks to a good standard is one of several priorities identified by BPEX to help pig producers achieve more pigs weaned per sow per year.

Staff training is one of the ways to boost understanding of pig husbandry best practice and improve consistency in daily tasks.

For information about the practical training and development activities in your area, along with possible funding, click here http://www.bpex.org.uk/2TS/Training/ or contact Samantha Bowsher: 07976 980753 or samantha.bowsher@bpex.ahdb.org.uk

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Replacement gilts: avoid ‘holes’ in the system

It is important that pig producers always have enough gilts available to serve, in the correct condition and at the required time. They should aim to maintain a replacement gilt pool of at least 12% of the target herd numbers.
So you need to be aware of and manage any holes coming up in the system, such as low service weeks when there has been a rise in cull rates or late returns among sows.

Good gilt management is the starting point of a productive breeding herd and will help improve the number of pigs weaned per sow per year, the aim of the BPEX Breed+3 initiative.

To download the 2TS Gilt Management pack, click here. www.bpex.org.uk/2TS/breeding/GiltManagement.aspx