Farmer Focus: High-frequency EID trial gets under way

Now the herd has settled after the partial depopulation, it is time to get on with the planned high-frequency EID ear tag trial.

For the past four weeks all pigs have been individually weighed at weaning and given an ear tag.

A third of each batch have been weighed again at seven days post-weaning to give us an idea of how they are coping with the stress of moving and not having mum.

See also: Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers

Some are doing well, putting on 220g/day, but some are only doing 70g/day. We will look at the results after all are weighed to see if there is a pattern and what we can do to improve growth.

The aim is to weigh all the tagged pigs at regular intervals and get the information analysed to see if we can improve our performance even more.

By the time these pigs are going to slaughter, the upgraded plant at Brechin will be in full swing and will hopefully have an EID reader in the slaughter line.

Harvest has just started with some winter barley cut, although the rain has stopped us for now. The quality looks ok, but yields look down on last year as we weigh each load as it comes off the field.

A lack of sun will have an effect on yield, but there is still time for filling the spring barley and wheat if the sunshine comes now.

Farming is a way of life, we do it because we enjoy it. At the end of the day, farming is an important part of the lives of everybody in the world – if farmers didn’t produce food, where would they be?

If everyone remembered this then farmers would maybe get a fair price for their produce.

This is my last article and even though I am preaching to the converted, a rant is always a good thing.

I have enjoyed writing these articles and look forward to reading the views of the new group of writers, some of whom will no doubt be pig farmers.


Danny Skinner farms 440 sows selling finished pigs through Scottish Pig Producers. He runs 125ha at home and rents a further 50ha, growing cereals for home mixing