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Wheelie useful medicator

by 5m Editor
7 January 2003, at 12:00am

UK - A bright idea that uses a Wheelie bin to save both money and pigs has been a huge success on northern pig units.

Devised by JSR's Chapel House unit on the Wirral, the Wheelie is fitted with nipple drinkers and used as a mobile strategic medicator for individual pens.

"The need to medicate a whole room of pigs via the header tank is avoided. Instead, specific pens can be treated. The bin is easy to move around the unit by one person and the water systems no longer have to be flushed out to avoid furring up of pipes by antibiotics," said Nigel Pritchard, multiplication manager of JSR pig production. This cuts down on the use of medication, giving useful cash savings. It also reduces the risk of cross-contamination.

Various sizes of Wheelie bins, with capacities ranging from 100 to 240 litres, can be purchased, allowing between four and eight nipples to be fitted, depending upon the numbers of pigs to be treated. The bin can be cleaned and disinfected before being moved to a new pen.

"We've used them for weaners between 7 kg and 30 kg, and besides improving pig welfare, reckon we've saved as much as 25 per cent on medication use," explained Nigel.

The use of the Wheelie was not regarded as a load of rubbish - it gained the Chapel House staff top prize in the JSR Farms Innovation award!