BPEX blog

Friday, 26 April 2013

Understanding your farm data

Our new 2TS Recording Project is well underway. It’s to help pig producers understand recorded data to improve their herd performance and profits.

We are working with pig recording analyst Sanne Baden and six different pig producers on the project, as part of the Breed +3 initiative.  Sanne is making four visits to each farm over the course of this year.

Plans producers made after their initial discussions included: 1) measuring the impact of different genetics through the system 2) reducing the number of non-productive days by scanning twice and using boars to check for heat and 3) recording causes of death in the farrowing house to help pinpoint associations with higher than normal pre-weaning mortality rates.

Herd performance recording and spending time understanding trends and patterns in the data helps pinpoint which changes could make the biggest difference to pig performance and cutting costs.

Please contact me or any member of the KT team if you’d like any guidance on recording and understanding your data.

Have a look back at my previous post on 18 February too

Friday, 19 April 2013

Get gilts used to routine before serving

Before their first service, it is important that gilts are familiar with the routine of moving to the heat detection area and service pens where they should also be able to explore the area and meet the boars.

This will reduce stress, keep gilts calmer and help ensure strong standing reflexes during insemination. BPEX Work Instructions 13 and 14 on humanising and handling gilts have more information.

Be aware that gilts are notorious for taking a long time to inseminate, which can be due to stress. A good gilt familiarisation routine will help to reduce this along with calm, patient staff in the service area. Serving gilts in a small AI pen (typically 2m x 2m) with good boar contact will also increase the chances of a successful insemination. See Action for Productivity factsheets 29, 30 and 31 for more information on AI.

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 BPEX’s Breed+3 initiative.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Stockmen get together in person and online

Both the Stockman East and Stockman North development groups have been on visits to local feed mills as part of their course. In the East, the venue was Crown Milling in Norfolk and included a background to the business, tour of the mill and details of how it is managed.
The Stockman North group visited the ABN feed mill in Northallerton for a similar tour, including an insight into how feed rations are created.  The trainees said how much they enjoyed “the chance to see pig feed produced
from start to finish”.

And more than 40 people have now joined the BPEX Stockman Development Facebook group.  It is for all pig stockmen to help keep in touch, improve knowledge and share ideas with others around the country. 

It’s also linked directly to the BPEX Stockman Development and Stockman Plus courses. The group page highlights details of workshops, relevant videos and photos and gives the chance to ask questions, comment and discuss with others in the group.

Log in to your account at: www.facebook.com and search for ‘BPEX Stockman Development’ to join the group.
For information about Stockman Development, Stockman Plus and all the other the practical training activities in the pig industry, click here http://www.bpex.org.uk/2TS/Training/ or contact Samantha Bowsher: 07976 980753 or samantha.bowsher@bpex.ahdb.org.uk