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Are You A Winner With Batch Farrowing?


Calling all pig producers. Do you batch farrow? If the answer is yes, then you could win prizes worth up to 1,000 in the Janssen Animal Health 2009 Batch Farrower of the Year Awards.

Entries are now being sought for the awards which, in just three years, have graphically illustrated the excellent benefits batch farrowing has brought to winning units and to the UK pig industry in general. And veterinary surgeons are urged to nominate producer clients who operate the system.

Says Phil Macdonald, pig and poultry business manager: Our objective with the awards scheme is to encourage other producers to assess the benefits of batch farrowing and its ability to help to improve productivity.

First prize for 2009 is 1,000-worth of semen from the breeding company of the winners choice and second prize is 500-worth of semen. There is also a third prize of a Snuggler, a thermostatically-controlled warm box that helps piglets at risk from hypothermia to get over the critical first few hours of life.

The awards will be based on results in the 12 months to July 31, 2009. To qualify, entries must be received by Friday February 26, 2010.  Entries will be assessed by an independent panel of judges chaired by Sam Walton, editor of Pig World, and will include the 2008 winner. The awards will be presented after the judges have completed their deliberations.

The performance results of the 2008 winner underline how significant the achievements of batch farrowing can be.  Mike Sheldons 500-sow unit at Great Horwood, Bucks, achieved 25.9 pigs reared per sow, with 12.5 born alive per litter, 11 reared and a farrowing index of 2.36 in the awards period. The unit also achieved a farrowing rate of 91.6 per cent for sows and gilts.

The high productivity carried through to finishing.  Piglets were weaned at 26 days of age at 8 kg and achieved 540g average daily liveweight gain to 30 kg. From then to 100 kg finishing weight they steamed ahead at an average 960g/day.

Results of previous winners were equally impressive, says Phil Macdonald. They help to show-case the benefits the system can help to achieve.  This is particularly important at a time when it is essential for producers to cut costs of production.

The entry form has been designed to make it quicker to complete.  For a copy of the form, email or telephone her on 01494 567555.

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