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HEDEGAARD FARMS: Denmark

The fast growing Danish Hedegaard Farms, located in the West of Denmark, recently succesfully found a way to fight bloating in sows. Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek had a look around.

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  • Hedegaard Farms, near the village of Tarm, Denmark and established in 2003, is a rapidly growing breeding farm. Having started off with 160 sows, the farm now has 730 sows and hopes to expand to 1,400 sows in 2010. In addition, the farm has a 4,000 pig finishing facility for unsold weaners.

    Hedegaard Farms, near the village of Tarm, Denmark and established in 2003, is a rapidly growing breeding farm. Having started off with 160 sows, the farm now has 730 sows and hopes to expand to 1,400 sows in 2010. In addition, the farm has a 4,000 pig finishing facility for unsold weaners.

  • Once new high health gilts (Landrace x Yorkshire) are brought in, five times per year, they are being vaccinated for parvovirus, PPV, E.coli and Mycoplasma.

    Once new high health gilts (Landrace x Yorkshire) are brought in, five times per year, they are being vaccinated for parvovirus, PPV, E.coli and Mycoplasma.

  • Heiselberg keeps his dry sows in free access stalls. Until recently, he suffered from a relative large percentage of bloating sows in his herd, leading up to a 12.8% mortality among his sows. He judged this was 'much too high'. "At any time we could find deaths."

    Heiselberg keeps his dry sows in free access stalls. Until recently, he suffered from a relative large percentage of bloating sows in his herd, leading up to a 12.8% mortality among his sows. He judged this was 'much too high'. "At any time we could find deaths."

  • In March of this year, Heiselberg changed his sow feeding strategy. He started home mixing. In his dry feed rations for the sows, provided by feed mill Vestjyllands Andel, 'valset byg' (rolled barley) was included, see picture. In addition, small rations (200 g/tonne) of a yeast product Saccharomyces Boulardii (Levucell SB, Lallemand Animal Nutrition) was added.

    In March of this year, Heiselberg changed his sow feeding strategy. He started home mixing. In his dry feed rations for the sows, provided by feed mill Vestjyllands Andel, 'valset byg' (rolled barley) was included, see picture. In addition, small rations (200 g/tonne) of a yeast product Saccharomyces Boulardii (Levucell SB, Lallemand Animal Nutrition) was added.

  • Sows have looked more at ease ever since, he says. Lactating sows are lying on their sides again instead of on their stomach, indicating well-being. Mortality has come down to 8% by the end of September, Heiselberg says.

    Sows have looked more at ease ever since, he says. Lactating sows are lying on their sides again instead of on their stomach, indicating well-being. Mortality has come down to 8% by the end of September, Heiselberg says.

  • When entering the lactating sow house with a group of visitors, it's relatively peaceful and quiet. The sows weigh about 15-20 kg more by the end of the lactating period, as their feed intake is better.

    When entering the lactating sow house with a group of visitors, it's relatively peaceful and quiet. The sows weigh about 15-20 kg more by the end of the lactating period, as their feed intake is better.

  • Constipation, often a problem in sows around farrowing, appears to be a lot less when using the new diets. Heiselberg says, "We do not know if it was the structure of the new feed and/ or the addition of the yeast product. Anyway, the home mixing seems to have boosted the sow performance. They need to eat!"

    Constipation, often a problem in sows around farrowing, appears to be a lot less when using the new diets. Heiselberg says, "We do not know if it was the structure of the new feed and/ or the addition of the yeast product. Anyway, the home mixing seems to have boosted the sow performance. They need to eat!"

  • Piglets, weaned at four weeks, receive a straw bedding. They are castrated at day 4.

    Piglets, weaned at four weeks, receive a straw bedding. They are castrated at day 4.

  • Extra sweet creep feeding is provided to get them to eat early.

    Extra sweet creep feeding is provided to get them to eat early.

  • The weaners stay at Hedegaard until they are 30 kg of weight, after which they are sold to finishing farms.

    The weaners stay at Hedegaard until they are 30 kg of weight, after which they are sold to finishing farms.

  • Heiselberg uses Duroc lines for artificial insemination.

    Heiselberg uses Duroc lines for artificial insemination.

  • In total, with two additional employees from Poland, Hedegaard Farms produces 21,700 piglets/year. Approximately 17,000 weaners are sold per year.

    In total, with two additional employees from Poland, Hedegaard Farms produces 21,700 piglets/year. Approximately 17,000 weaners are sold per year.

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