Kiernan Milling is a family run feed mill located in the midlands of Ireland. The state-of-the-art feed mill is one of the largest in Ireland and they manufacture pig, poultry and ruminant feed for their customers situated across the country. With over 400,000 tonnes of feed produced annually, Kiernan Milling is one of the key players within the Irish agricultural industry. The pig sector is at the heart of the company, and two thirds of the annual tonnage is pig feed, and the Kiernan family have a long and reputable relationship within the pig industry as they are one of leading suppliers of pigs in Ireland.
Kiernan Milling decided in 2018 to expand their business even further and create an opportunity to support their customers and suppliers by converting one of their piggeries into a fully-fledged research and development unit. The R&D facility created the opportunity to trial and test products available globally in a commercial setting, and in turn it meant the business could aid their customer base more accurately and inform them on the different products available on the market which can help improve their farming enterprise. Head of the R&D facility is Susan Dudley, who completed a Bachelor of Animal Science degree in University College Dublin (UCD) and completed her Masters degree in pig nutrition with Teagasc and UCD.
Over the past five years, Kiernan Milling have invested in their facility allowing for more precise data collection whilst still trialling products in a commercial setting. Do you have a product that you are interested in trialling with us? Kiernan Milling’s R&D venture has the capacity to run trials throughout the whole lifecycle of pigs.
Sow performance trials can be carried out from arrival to farrowing rooms through to weaning at 28 days of age. The facility has installed a hydro air big dutchman feed system which enables the recording and monitoring of individual sow feed intakes. This allows up to 4 treatments to be tested, and treatments can be randomly assigned within the farrowing houses. Sows can be weighed and backfat scored on arrival to the farrowing rooms and again at weaning. Lesion scoring, locomotion scoring and faecal scoring can be offered if requested.
Kiernan Milling offer intensive measurements to assess piglet performance, such as birth weights, creep starting weights, creep intakes, weaning weights, faecal scoring and pre weaning mortality figures. These measurements combined allow for a robust review of company’s products and highlights some of the key parameters of interest to pig producers.
The opportunity to follow pigs post weaning is possible as the facility offer an array of post weaning trial options. Companies can choose between following pigs for 4 or 8 weeks post weaning. Full growth performance data can be measured and the option to follow pigs throughout the finishing period is also available. Treatments can be randomly assigned within the finisher accommodation and a host of measurements such as ADG, ADFI, FCR and faecal scoring can be recorded. Slaughter data such as lean meat %, dead weight, backfat thickness and kill out % can also be recorded. Economic figures such as feed cost/kg, feed price/pig and savings/pig can be calculated and included in trial data, these figures are hugely important for pig producers and the opportunity to avail of them on a commercial piggery is highly valuable.