12 May 1995

Sow stalls are still going in on Breton unit

BELGIAN designed sow stalls have just been installed in a controlled environment building for 70 sows and progeny in northern Brittany.

The building, inspected on the RDBA tour, will be used as a multiplication unit for the production of Camborough gilts for PIC France by Jean-Claude Vilmain and his son Christophe farming 75ha (185 acres) at Le Gouray.

The farm also runs a 50-head beef unit and a 40-hind deer unit – one of some 25 deer enterprises that have been established in Brittany since 1988.

Mr Vilmain said that he is currently getting FF80/kg (£4/lb) wholesale for venison compared with only FF9/kg (45p/lb) for pigmeat from a finishing unit which will be closed-down when the minimal disease Camborough parent stock move into the adjacent new building.

About 80% of the construction work on the new 100% slatted floor building, supplied and designed by local building manufacturers, is being carried out by contractors, with a 20% contribution by the Vilmain family.

Typical cost for a pig building like this is FF15,000 (£2000) a sow place, but Mr Vilmain is hoping to pay less than this due to his DIY contribution.