Great gains for producers through Gilt Watch

Pig producers are being urged to sign up to AHDB Pork’s first Gilt Watch programme to share best practice and gain valuable insight into improving herd performance.

The first cohort of producers, from both indoor and outdoor units, is being sought for the launch of the initiative – which is set to go live in January next year.

Producers will monitor gilt performance, work out where changes can be made and help put successful plans into practice. Those taking part will meet twice a year to review progress, over a two-year period, and share their experiences with the wider industry.

As well as picking up ideas from fellow producers, there will be advice on hand from a number of industry experts.

Across the industry, breeding herds need to retain more young sows in the herd if they are to make significant gains in physical and financial performance.

AHDB Pork knowledge exchange manager Angela Cliff said: “It typically costs around £250 to rear each gilt, so putting the groundwork in to make sure they get past their first or second parity and reach their full lifetime potential is vital to get a return on that investment.

“A few simple steps are often all that are needed to achieve great gains but, first, we need to understand why young sows are failing in the first place.

“Our targets as an industry include retaining 80 per cent or more gilts from the original gilt intake, to the point of a successful pregnancy diagnosis at their third gestation.”

AHDB Pork will be inviting producers to the first Gilt Watch meeting on 25 January 2018 with a dinner beforehand on the evening of 24 January 2018. Confirmation of your participation and further details will follow in the first week of January.

Gilt Watch is an AHDB Farm Excellence initiative which uses technical events and farmer-to-farmer learning to accelerate the uptake of knowledge, and provides a framework for farmers to explore the potential impact that adopting best practice can have on their business.

For more details and to apply, go to  and email the short application form to us at [email protected] by 22 December 2017.


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