Why do I have to open my big mouth?
Just as I am confident that our persistent porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome outbreak has run its course, we go hell bent into another outbreak. And this one appears not to be responding to our vaccination programme.
This has resulted in a new strategy being implemented in conjunction with our vets. I’ll keep you informed as things develop.
On a positive note we have finally found a new member of staff.
This has taken a considerable amount of time, but I’m sure the right person has been appointed. I’m going to use this opportunity to change the way we manage the farrowing houses.
See also: Learn more about Farmer Focus writer Tony Bayles in his introductory column
Previously we operated with a single, full-time person and I assisted as required, but I have always felt we could achieve better results if more staff time was spent with the stock, especially in the first three days after birth. So to prove a point, two staff will be the order of the day from now on.
During the autumn we are going to start preparing some of the older farrowing rooms for a revamp.
“Just as I am confident that our persistent porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome outbreak has run its course, we go hell bent into another outbreak”
The wishlist includes new floors, panelling and better insulation to improve the environment for the younger piglets.
The teleporter and pivot steer machines are due for an annual inspection, so they have been washed and checked over in readiness, fingers crossed. As a livestock farmer I find machinery a necessary evil, not something to drool over.
Harvest in these parts is basically over and as the straw stack nears completion I am looking at ways to streamline our system of storing straw onsite, as we spend a lot of time moving bales around the farm, which is not cost-effective. Due to the layout of the unit it’s not a straightforward solution, but I’m sure we can do better.
One of our dry sow sheds has been the home to several pairs of swallows since the spring and having reared two broods each. As a result the sky around the shed is full of birds and thankfully not many flies.
Sadly it won’t be long before they head south, the lucky things. For us autumn draws on.
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.