Pig producers in the UK counties of Lincolnshire and Staffordshire are the winners of two tonnes of feed in an Enteric Disease Competition run in conjunction with British Pig Executive (BPEX) two tonne sow initiative.
BPEX is aiming to raise the industry average to two tonnes of pig meat / sow / year to bring UK performance up to the EU average — and Pfizer Animal Health challenged producers to answer questions about some of the most widespread enteric diseases.
The prizes of a tonne of feed each go to Peter Frick, of Thimbleby, near Horncastle, and Julie Higton, of Brooklyn Farm Products, Thorncliffe, Leek, Staffordshire.
The Frick family has been keeping pigs for more than 40 years, and now has a 100-sow closed herd restocked with elite sows five years ago. The unit produces weaners on a traditional straw-based system, with the nine to ten-week-old pigs sold through Meadow Quality, and mostly reared for pork for local butchers.
The family owned farm uses home-grown wheat and barley to mill and mix the grower rations.
Julie Higton and her husband Paul have been fattening pigs since moving to the farm in 1998. They take in 35 kg weaners and rear up to 1,800 on a straw-based regime through to processing at 110 kg. Most of the pigs go to Tulip for sale as fresh pork or bacon.
The Higtons are now building up their dairy herd, and also have sheep and agricultural contracting enterprises.
“We were very impressed with the number of entrants and the level of knowledge demonstrated about enteric infection and disease control from those who entered the competition”, said Scott Wheway, Pfizer Animal Health assistant product manager.