Know How / Pigs

Whether indoor or outdoor, modern British pig production has evolved to high levels of technical performance and efficiency to cope in a huge pork market. Find out more about key management areas, information on issues such as welfare, consumer demands and antibiotics reduction targets.

Key focus areas:

  • Managing health and welfare
  • Farrowing and youngstock
  • Growing and finishing
  • Genetics and breeding decisions
  • Knowing your cost of production

Advice and tips

PIGS

Tips on improving water quality for pigs

There are big opportunities to achieve better pig health and growth through simple changes to water systems, with potential yet to be fully explored on many units. Pigs need ready…

PIGS

Guide to biosecurity measures to keep pigs disease-free

Cleaning and disinfection programmes need to be stepped up on many pig farms to tackle residual disease reservoirs, according to vets, researchers and AHDB Pork experts. Feed, rodents, birds and…

PIGS

4-step guide to pig feeding and rations

Feed accounts for about 60-70% of the cost of pigmeat production. It is, therefore, important to get the formulations and rations right at each stage of growth. Feeding diets that…

PIGS

6 energy efficiency tips for pig farmers

The large power demand from heating, ventilating and lighting pig units means there is potential for big cost savings from making simple energy efficiency improvements. Pig production is energy intensive,…

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Archive

PIGS

Tips on improving water quality for pigs

There are big opportunities to achieve better pig health and growth through simple changes to water systems, with potential yet to be fully explored on many units. Pigs need ready…

PIGS

Farmer Focus: We must remove more costs for a good 2018

Having just completed a successful set of audited accounts for our last financial year, I find myself wondering what 2018 will bring.  Prices have dropped off, as they often do…

PIGS

Farmer Focus: Cost of production model was a no brainer

Pig farming has always been considered to be a boom and bust industry.  In March 2016 the Standard Pig Price hit a 112.07p/kg low (with costs at around 130p/kg), while…

PIGS

Farmer Focus: Ladies in Pigs need levy support from AHDB

I am writing this column on a Sunday evening at the end of a farrowing week. The numbers stand at 96 sows farrowed, 13.88 born alive a sow, mortality at…

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Case studies

PIGS

How a pig farmer has lowered production costs by 3.8p/kg

Lancashire pig farmer David Goodier has reduced his cost of production by 3.8p/kg deadweight, by improving sow performance and reducing mortality. Mr Goodier, from Greenhalgh, Preston, became AHDB Pork’s pilot…

PIGS

The challenges of pig farming in South Africa

South Africa, a land known for its tropical weather and miles of dry terrain, is hardly conducive to pig farming, with everything from temperature fluctuation to farm security to consider.…

PIGS

How integration works on one US pig farm

Set in the heart of the US corn belt, Iowa is a farming mecca. Mile after mile of maize and soya bean fields make this an ideal place for pig…

PIGS

How Dutch farmers reduced antibiotics use by 60%

Strict regulation has more than halved Dutch antibiotics use in recent years as a new era in farm health planning and probiotics has driven livestock systems. More frequent veterinary visits,…

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Community

PIGS

Farmer Focus: New rations seem to be doing the job

Back in February I talked about the astounding weights we achieved out of Batch G, in which the bacon pigs averaged 90kg deadweight (117.7kg live) at 157 days old, thereby…

PIGS

Farmer Focus: Defra should incentivise reinvestment in pigs

On our way back from the England v Wales game, two of my pig farming mates gave me a bit of stick. In my February column I said we sold…

PIGS

Farmer Focus: Burglary followed by 'Beast from the East'

It hasn’t been the best four weeks here. Thankfully the pigs are fine, but we had a major burglary just before the "Beast from the East" set upon us. They…

PIGS

Farmer Focus: Vitamin costs soar

Hopefully the pig price has finished its relentless downward path from £1.70/kg in May 2017 to the low of £1.45. European producers have been receiving nearly 20p/kg less than us…

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Insights

PIGS

Buoyant pig market helps UK producers stay in profit

A stable price, improving performance and market demand are all painting a positive picture for pig production in 2018. The UK pig market has been through a period of stability,…

PIGS

Farmer Focus: African swine fever meeting had scary message

I was at a meeting just before Christmas where a woman from AHDB Pork pointed out the dangers of African swine fever (ASF). I must say I found it very…

PIGS

How pig breeding tech could help cut disease-related costs

Breeding technologies which help pigs become genetically healthier and less susceptible to illness could help the UK pork sector reduce antibiotics use and save millions of pounds every year. Losses in…

POULTRY

Antibiotics reports spark debate in farm industry

Campaigners pushing for a dramatic reduction in farm antibiotics use have set out a series of recommendations that they claim would reduce consumption in the dairy, pig and poultry sectors.…

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News

PIGS

Disease fears prompt call for tighter wild boar controls

Pig industry leaders have called for a stringent control policy to curb wild boar numbers in the Forest of Dean amid fears the growing population could spread serious diseases. According…

PIGS

Undercover footage shows pigs beaten on Lincs farm

An investigation is under way after workers were secretly filmed violently abusing pigs at one of the country’s biggest producers. Four workers have been sacked after an animal charity released…

SHEEP

Zwartbles and Dairy Shorthorn dazzle at Balmoral

Four glorious days of sunshine welcomed Princess Anne, secretary of state for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley and an estimated 115,000 show goers at the 150th Royal Agricultural Society Balmoral Show…

PIGS

5 priorities for British pig sector in the wake of Brexit

Pig producers and industry leaders are positive about the future, with opportunities Brexit might bring and export possibilities high on the agenda. At the Pig and Poultry Fair on Tuesday…

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Test and reviews

SHEEP

6 alternative bedding options to straw compared

Poor weather conditions at harvesting and diminished crop yields on the back of a dry spring, coupled with strong demand from renewable energy plants, have converged to create an unprecedented…

PIGS

10 Danish loose farrowing pens compared

Ten European loose-housed farrowing pens are being assessed for pig, piglet and worker welfare in a world-leading product test. This follows industry targets for 10% of Danish sows to be…

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Video

PIGS

Video: Mechanised rising crate floor cuts pig mortality

A Lincolnshire farm has seen piglet mortality fall as low as 0.5% in farrowing houses through investment in mechanised, sow-activated, crate flooring. When farm manager Ian Smith started working at…

PIGS

Jimmy Doherty stars in Channel 4 OD pork campaign

TV presenter and pig farmer Jimmy Doherty will star in three short films on Channel 4 On Demand to raise consumer awareness about British pork. The three-minute films, which will…

PIGS

Feed prices dominate pig industry challenges

The pig industry will face continued challenges in 2012 but begin to grow during 2013 as improved productivity gains kick in, was the message at Livestock 2012. Feed prices are…

PIGS

VIDEO: Pig industry on sow stalls ban

Reporting from the British Pig and Poultry Fair 2012, Farmers Weekly's Sarah Trickett speaks to pig industry producers and experts on what the EU sow stalls ban will mean for…

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