Hugh Gabbie, along with his team of staff lead by Johnny Chambers, run a 1100 sow, birth to bacon unit near Crossgar.
Key to success on the farm is put down to monitoring all performance figures very closely, great attention to detail and controlling feed quality and cost. The farm buys in its own straights, much of which comes from local farms and mixes its own meal.
“This way we know what’s in the meal and it costs less than buying it,” commented Hugh.
“The performance has really accelerated the last six/seven years, the number of piglets born alive is 13.7, with 12.8 weaned, and 2.4 litters per year. However I’d say replacement rates are now higher.
“Currently prices are good and we are on the crest of a wave which I hope doesn’t break for some time, however regulations and staff shortages are challenges we face.”
One area the farm tried to improve is what to do with the smaller piglets within the litter. With all the negative impact of antimicrobial resistance they didn’t want to be using more antibiotics at a time when the industry needs to be reducing them.
“We tried Provita Newborn Pig probiotic at the end of 2016. We quickly noticed the smaller and weaker piglets responded very positively to it. Their performance improved compared to previous groups and they caught up with the larger piglets, said Hugh.
“We give it straight after birth and again on day three, and you really see the effect between 10 to 20 days old. We have continued to use Provita Newborn Pig and the staff find it easy and quick to use, being in a liquid form with automatic doser,” commented Johnny.
“Provita are the only company to gain a veterinary medicine licence for a probiotic, Provita Protect POM-VPS,” noted George Shaw, Technical Adviser for Provita.
“The technology used to suspend the probiotic bacteria live at a high enough level to have a therapeutic effect in Protect is used in all probiotic products including Newborn Pig.
“As Hugh mentioned his farming enterprise relies on the performance of the pigs. Newborn Pig can help the piglets to get up and sucking quicker, meaning weight gain will improve. Hugh and his team have seen the benefits of probiotic bacteria on their farm.”
For more information Freephone Provita on 08003 284 982.