At this year's edition of the Pig & Poultry Fair, in Stoneleigh Park, UK, there were 15 entries for the New Product Award. Here is the winner and some of the innovations…
WINNER: Outdoor ESF unit
Outdoor pig production might be welfare friendly but feeding sows and gilts accurately outdoors has always been difficult. Feed nuts often end up being trampled in the mud and wasted plus there are serious biosecurity problems as birds are attracted by loose feed especially in winter, and they move from unit to unit, continually scavenging for feed and potentially spreading disease.
MPS Agri made one of the first indoor ESF systems over 30 years ago and many systems are in operation all over the UK and abroad. Given the large UK outdoor pig population MPS Agri decided to develop an outdoor sow feeder and the company’s Apollo Outdoor ESF was judged the overall 2012 winner. The feeder can feed pellets, meal and water or wet feed. Feed is stored in a small conical bin above the ESF’s feed trough with the electricity needed to power the ESF being produced by a photovoltaic panel.
(see photo below)
High welfare pig toy
“Porcichew” is a new high welfare pig toy made in the UK by Nutrapet and was highly commended. It’s made from biodegradable malleable material and significantly is impregnated with four strong scents which are very appealing to the pig, plus the more the pig bites and plays, the more scent is released. (photo below)
Faster finisher boar
JSR Genetics used the show to launch the company’s new Sireline, the ‘faster finishing’ JSR Geneconverter 800 m boar. The boar’s progeny are up to three days faster to finish, giving an extra 5 kg for producers wanting more weight at the end of the production cycle, with commercial progeny growing to 106 kg at 151 days. (photo below)
Big Dutchman opening crate
Several equipment companies were exhibiting farrowing crates/ piglet protectors which can be opened out after the first few days from farrowing . Mike Brade of Newquip who are UK agents for Big Dutchman takes the view that an opening crate goes some way to satisfy the welfarists’ views and is a good compromise given that completely free farrowing systems are still not producing results comparable to conventional farrowing pens.(photo below)
**ALSO READ: Future of British pig and poultry sectors looks bright
(By Stuart Lumb)