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Podcast: 37 piglets/sow for Dutch pig farmer

The 15th episode of the Real P3 podcast examines the big litter concept and discusses how a Dutch pig farmer achieved 37 piglets per year in 2020.

The Real P3 podcast series is a recent initiative, where pork professionals from all over the world are interviewed about challenges and solutions in their day-to-day work.

In this 15th episode of the podcast series, Dr Casey Bradley speaks to pig farmer Pieter Beerens, aged 34, in the town of Moergestel in the Netherlands. Beerens’ farm is home to 350 sows, and in 2020, he achieved 37 piglets per sow with an average born alive of 17.8 with a loss percentage of 9.5% before weaning.

Weaning as many piglets as possible

Beerens has partnered with Swinco, a company that supports and guides international pig farms in the field of farm management and feed programmes. Joining this episode and representing Swinco is Roel van der Bruggen, also in the Netherlands. He and Pieter have been working together for several years and together they sought to find a way for sows to wean as many piglets as possible.

They have learnt some valuable lessons, including why the motherless concept does not work, training piglets to prepare to eat solid feed at an early age by introducing automated feeding with the sow, and the advantages of gradual weaning. Beerens’ results speak for themselves – feed intake before weaning is around 900g per pig.

In the previous weeks, Pig Progress published earlier episodes of the Real P3 podcast series: