UK pig farmers are trying out new production ideas and testing swine equipment through grants from the BPEX Innovation Fund.

The growth maximization study conducted by D.C. & R.J. Allen & Partners is trialing two specially designed weighing crates linked to a PC, one placed in a weaner pen (8-25kg) and the other one placed in a grower pen (25-55kg) and then subsequently a finisher pen, to monitor the real-time daily growth, performance fluctuations from ration changes or other pen stresses.

Through monitoring pig growth on a real-time basis the trial aims to assess how the changes in ration affect daily growth throughout the three stages of production,  enabling rations and feeding strategies to be adapted accordingly.

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The evaluation of a short-bolt captive stunner is establishing a practical, mechanical and repeatable method of humanely dispatching casualty pigs from 5kg to 20kg to prevent further avoidable distress to all concerned. The trial seeks to evaluate the use of the short-bolt system for both ease of operation, safety, and effective humane euthanasia of piglets from 5-20kg.

To find alternative methods of delivering fresh clean water to outdoor sows conducted by BQP is researching methods of offering water to outdoor sows. Additional benefits include always providing clean fresh water, rather than a wallow trough which can become contaminated. This project will demonstrate how an alternative method of delivering water to outdoor sows can improve conception rates, live piglets and weaning weights in outdoor sows.