THE first group of pig producers in Northern Ireland to successfully complete the Sow Herd Fertility Challenge programme recently received their certificates.
At the awards night, guest speaker Wallace Gregg, presented certificates to 26 producers, and congratulated them on their success.
The Sow Herd Fertility Challenge is a new CAFRE pig training programme which, as the name implies, focuses on sow fertility. The programme consists of four core areas – management, health, genetics and nutrition. In addition to CAFRE Pig Technologists, experts in each core area took part in the training to ensure delivery of the most up to date, relevant and practical information on sow fertility.
Focus farmer, Edgar Carson, commenting on the programme said: “I really enjoyed attending the Sow Fertility Challenge meetings. Even though I have worked with pigs for a number of years I still learnt a lot. I very much enjoyed the social side of the training and getting to know other pig producers. I can now put faces to a lot more names which is great,” continued Edgar.
As a result of taking part in the training Edgar made several changes on his unit, including increasing the lysine content of his lactacting ration, feeding glucose to sows just prior to weaning and between weaning and service and feeding a specialized gilt ration to home reared replacement gilts. Edgar is currently monitoring performance to determine the effect of the changes on born alive and conception rate.
Plans are being made for a similar training course this autumn. If you are interested in taking part in the course, please contact Greenmount on 028 9442 6767.