A purpose-built piglet nursery in Suffolk has saved enough piglets to improve returns by over £79,000 in the past 12 months, according to a report issued by nursery designers’ Quality Equipment.
“When Rattlerow Farms installed the portable container-style nursery on their 600-sow commercial unit at Hill House Farm, Stradbroke, they estimated that it would enable them to rear around 700 extra pigs annually,” said the company.
“In fact, this prediction was almost spot-on. Agrosoft records show that average numbers born alive from the Whiteland sows has been remarkably consistent at between 13.5 and 13.7 over three years. However, since delivery of the nursery, designed and built by Quality Equipment, mortality has fallen dramatically with a proportional rise in numbers reared.”
Unit manager, Adrian Scarfe, added: “We are rearing an extra half-a-pig per litter, or 693 pigs over the recording period. Within the first three months numbers weaned increased from 11.5-11.7 to 12.3 pigs per litter. It has made farrowing house management easier and improved welfare for both sows and piglets.”
Even at today’s prices, with the extra pigs going at 84kg deadweight for £1.37 per kg., the increased gross return is £79,750.
Headline image shows Rattlerow Farms’ farrowing house manager, Jamie Brown (left), and unit manager, Adrian Scarfe.