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To induce or not to induce?

At a recent Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) farm business club meeting at Skimble Crown pig breeder/finisher unit, Dudley, UK, a topic which drew much attention was: to induce, or not to induce…?

Farm manager, John Webster, hosted a tour of the farm and gave an insight into the production methods used. The farmers were impressed by the eveness of the pigs throughout their development - from new-born piglet to finishing pig.

The farm tour provoked a discussion about mortality and birth rates and how improvements could impact the bottom line. A comparison of costs revealed that an increase of just 0.1 per litter per 100 sows would produce approximately an extra £11,000 (€16,298) income per year and to improve the post-weaning mortality by 1% would bring in an extra £7,000 (€10,371).

Webster says: "We take great care of our sows throughout pregnancy. Because of the high numbers born and to help with fostering we induce sows when required. Eveness starts even earlier with sows being served with home produced semen from our two AI boars." 

"Good boars, coupled with a good feeding scale, enables us to record good birth weights of around 1.6 kg per pig. From this even start we are able to tailor the pigs' feed requirements more accurately. This has a knock on effect with reduced days to slaughter and more kilos of pig meat sold per pig," adds Webster.

 

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