UK: Stockmen targeting better pig performance
Improving piglet appetite is just one of the targets pig stockmen are working towards following this year’s BPEX Stockman Development course in the north.
One stockman, Tom Bradshaw, is trying a new idea on his farm based on ‘being the sow’ at weaning. He said: “In the past, piglets have usually taken a couple of days to get a good appetite after weaning. Now I am going to put a small bit of feed in a long white trough every half an hour for the first two days after being weaned - this is so the piglets become aware that this is me telling them it’s time to eat.”
At the final session of the course, stockman Kenny Lowes was given special recognition with a Student of the Year award for his enthusiastic contribution throughout the course. He said: “I’m still finding things to improve in my stockmanship after 22 years working with pigs. I now understand more about the theory behind the practical work I do and why we need to do things a certain way.”
The last training session was spent on veterinary and medicine skills with the group getting hands on experience of practising injecting skills. They then gave a short presentation to their trainers and managers on what they had gained from the course, before receiving their certificates and celebrating with a barbeque.
The seven Stockman Development North trainees who completed the course in 2013 were: Thomas Bradshaw, Matt Burgess, Isaac Green, Matt Hodgson, Kenny Lowes, Josh Swiers and Amber Tuer.
The Stockman Development course is designed to boost practical pig husbandry skills and give trainees a wider knowledge of the supply chain. Stockmen have the option to continue their training in the autumn with the BPEX Stockman Plus course and they can also be assessed for Certificates of Competence.
Contact Samantha Bowsher for information: 07976 980753 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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