Pork

13 August 2018

Some of the alternative bedding materials mentioned here can be used in conjunction with traditional cereal straw, either to replace it or offset the increased cost and allow straw-bedding supplies to go further

13 August 2018

Achieving successful isolation, acclimatisation and integration of incoming gilts is the first stage of any good gilt replacement plan. Maintaining the health status ensures productivity so it's important to know the disease profile of incoming stock and the receiving herd

13 August 2018

Gilts arriving on outdoor units may have come from indoor systems. Environment change can create problems during the acclimatisation period. Incoming gilts should be managed well and isolated for at least four weeks to avoid a health breakdown.

13 August 2018

Lifetime productivity is not related to backfat alone, but overall fitness. Body mass is important, gilts should be fed a diet that creates both fat and lean meat deposition. Where gilts have a high growth rate, or problems have been an issue, feed intake should be restricted to 80–90% of appetite

13 August 2018

The lower critical temperature for neonatal piglets is approximately 34ºC. On an outdoor unit it's more difficult to achieve precise temperature control. The provision of substrates such as straw, to build a nest and provide insulation and warmth are therefore important considerations

13 August 2018

Inseminating at the right time is essential to achieve the best farrowing rates and litter sizes. Follow the guidelines below to ensure good timing, successful insemination and improved reproductive performance. Know your herd, keep records, understand the process

13 August 2018

Accurate heat detection is essential for the correct timing of insemination. However, heat is often missed or misdiagnosed because the signs are overlooked.

13 August 2018

Good management/selection of gilts is key to maintaining a productive herd. 20–25% of production should be from gilts. A 45%+ replacement rate means nearly half the herd will be replaced in the year. Performance from and management of this parity therefore has a large impact on overall productivity

13 August 2018

It is important to keep the cost of producing piglets to a minimum to enable you to maximise profitability at sale. Knowing how your breeding herd performs helps you to identify where and how to concentrate your time, effort and investment to improve performance and reduce the cost of production.

13 August 2018

Improving the number of pigs born alive and piglet survival rate through to weaning has a significant impact on profitability – an increase of 1.7 pigs weaned per litter (the difference between average and top 10% performance) improves net margin by £120 per sow per annum.

13 August 2018

Understanding /meeting the contract specification and increasing the uniformity of finished pigs will help improve financial returns. This factsheet will help you review your contract, taking into account your location, pig production system and current grading.

13 August 2018

Ventilation systems can improve living conditions. An efficient ventilation system draws fresh air in and removes stale air along with microbes, dust, harmful gases and water vapour. Inefficient ventilation is detrimental to pig and staff performance (particularly on hot days) and costs more to run