Gilt Watch - Managing complex processes in Agriculture
The AHDB funded programme Gilt Watch® provided a large data set that showed the multiple factors impacting gilt retention in the UK. The data showed a high level of complexity when ensuring the gilts are retained to parity 5 - The point at which they've returned profit, yet have not increased variability in their output. This work was complemented by 8kg club, which identified practical solutions to raising weaning weights from 7kg on average to 8kg on average. Research suggests this will reduce the time to finishing by 8 - 10 days saving typically, 80 - 90p/pig/day. The ability to integrate these multiple solutions can be challenging to producers and in both programmes, producers often chose one or two solutions to trial. This document highlights a prioritisation of the solutions to gilt retention and weaning weights based on producer experience and extensive scientific literature. The solutions can be aligned with management processes such as total productive maintenance (TPM) utilised as part of Lean Six Sigma techniques and these are described briefly in the discussion, drawing attention to the relevance of TPM to pork producers.