Farmer Focus: Repairs before return to normal weaning

“Patience is a virtue,” a wise old sage once said. Well, if trying to replace a member of staff is anything to go by, they were correct.

But I am pleased to announce the position has finally been filled. A warm welcome to the team, Luke.

Repairs to the flooring continue in the farrowing houses, and we have started to replace the floors in the service area as they were worn and the pen dividers were becoming loose as a result.

We hope to get the remainder completed in the next few weeks before the dip in weaning returns to normal and the space to leave pens empty vanishes.

See also: Read more from the livestock farmer focus writers

Since my last ramblings, herd performance has started to improve, with piglet mortality reducing, born alive returning to normal levels, and piglets weaned and weaning weight both up. And long may it all continue.

See also: Reflooring farrowing shed ups performance

It all goes to prove one of the points the vets keep preaching – that maintaining herd health and biosecurity on a pig farm, even in a relatively low pig density area, is paramount if you are going to maximise output.

We will in the near future implement some new biosecurity measures, both internally and externally, to enhance our defences further.

With the continuing fall in the price of fuel, I have filled everything up to the max and am seriously considering another tank for diesel in an attempt to cut costs.

Even though we are not large users of diesel, the difference from the peak levels to current prices comes to more than £3,000 a year.

Like most farmers, we rely on couriers for the delivery of essential items. So can someone please tell me why the same company finds it hard to locate us, resulting in several calls to and fro, only to find us the next day with an item not for us? Argh!

Tony Bayles runs a herd of 1,000 sows producing 7kg pigs and all his own replacement stock on contract to a large local producer