Tail-biting. What are the causes and therefore the cures? If only I knew.
I have been in pigs for more than 40 years and I have rarely been without this scourge. It comes overnight and lingers for years.
I don’t think there is an excuse I haven’t heard, so I can confidently say they are all rubbish.
The reason I bring this up is that for some reason we are now almost free of this ‘delightful pastime’.
Why and what are we doing differently to make this happen? We now have dry feeders, we have a slight pulsed medication in for dysentery but all toys to occupy the pigs are eaten or gone.
So just why do this group of current pigs now not tail bite?
For the last five years or more Mat has failed his quality assurance on tail-biting. As I have commented many times before, the auditors have no advice whatever to help eliminate the problem. They have less idea than I, other than to say we must get ‘expert’ advice.
Do they really think we are deliberately trying to go broke by growing tail-bitten pigs that we can’t sell? So let me repeat once again that quality assurance, in Oz at least, is just bureaucratic nonsense that adds to our costs and achieves no economic outcome to pig farmers.
This advice is the result of 40 years of belting my head against the brick wall just trying to keep the family fed. The only families I really fed were all the bureaucracies that sucked the life out of my efforts. For whatever reason, it is simply a pleasure to walk the sheds without seeing this soul-destroying evil.
Meanwhile, the rain continues; we have achieved our annual rainfall of 22 inches in three months.
Paddocks are impassable; crops remain unsprayed, so weeds are thriving; thousands of acres are flooded with crops a total wipe out; hay was due to be cut weeks ago, tractor work should be done; canola is ready for windrowing and, as for cereal crops, it will be months before any machine or truck can get near the paddocks.
As a neighbour said, even if he can get the header onto the paddock, each load will have to be driven at least a mile to unload into the trucks if they can find solid ground.
I guess 50 per cent of the East coast crop is drowned. Yet the price of cereal continues to fall. What is left may make pig feed, so the outlook for pigs, at least, is brighter.
We pig farmers continue to get the ‘rough end of the pineapple’. The meat buyers no longer look for excuses but point out that with beef and lamb now supposedly too dear they have to make it up on pork!
There is no longer any competition among buyers, the internet has eliminated that. They instantly know what pig prices are, anywhere in Oz. Oddly enough, pigs in Queensland, 600 miles to the north of us and shipped back that 600 miles to our Sydney market are fetching an extra 10p over our price. Work that out?