Hermitage Seaborough has invested about £1 million (€1.16 million) to build a new modern AI centre in the East of England. The facility was opened late February.
The new station , which is situated in open countryside near Willingham, Cambridgeshire was formally opened by Sir James Paice., a member of parliament, and a former pig farmer, whose parliamentary constituency encompasses Willingham.
The new stud supplements Hermitage Seaborough’s original AI station which is located in North Devon. The Willingham stud which is one of the largest in the UK will accommodate 260 boars when fully stocked. Automatic semen collection is part of the technology used. Boars are housed in special pens and a pressurised system provides filtered air for the boars. Laboratory protocols are ISO 9001 approved and the stud is licenced for worldwide semen exports.
Opening the stud, Sir James commented on how little the general public knows about the amazing science and technology that is part and parcel of a 21st century pig AI facility and that more should be done to publicise the sophisticated technology that is used in today’s pig production sector.
Ned Nolan, Hermitage’s supremo who had flown over from Ireland to attend the opening ceremony added that the new centre was ideally located, allowing for rapid distribution of semen throughout the UK.
Nolan commented, “It’s a sobering thought that a top quality stud boar can reduce feed costs per pig sired by £4 (€4.63) per pig in terms of improved feed conversion ration (FCR). A boar will sire 6,000 pigs annually and in these days of savage feed costs a saving of £24,000 (€28,000) is not to be sneezed at!”