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Key to Achieving Breeding and Finishing Targets

by 5m Editor
22 February 2012, at 8:15am

UK - East Anglian Pig Company, based in Norfolk, who are predominately outdoor pig producers, also operate four indoor breeding units and have 2,400 sows. They take regular deliveries of GP90 maiden gilts and use GC750 semen for the indoor units.

A JSR customer since 2009, it is clear the finely-tuned, integrated system gives the necessary control and consistency that EAP demand.

Achieving the right end results for customers is the strong focus for the business and having been involved with pork processing in the past, the company has an especially strong appreciation of market forces.


Charles Bowes

"There is no point trying to give customers a product they don't want," says Charles Bowes, the Operations Director, "our commercial contracted pigs must be produced to a tight specification and we work very closely together to improve the quality of the carcase to meet our customers tight specification and demands. Obviously, as producers, we also want excellent growth rates, so the whole package needs to be right. This is where high quality AI, and working so closely with a well respected business like JSR is an advantage for us."

Meeting Finishing Targets

"Getting our slaughter pig right meant we could increase average weights from 79kg to 82kg (deadweight) but without too much backfat. We specified the slaughter pig we want to deliver this and JSR gave us the terminal sire line to achieve it - the GC750 Boar. It's feed efficient and offers an excellent carcase with low levels of backfat, balanced by high levels of lean meat."

3 Week Batch Farrowing

The successful implementation of a 3-week batch farrowing system relies heavily on a consistent supply of high quality gilts, explains Charles. "JSR deliver maiden GP90s to us at mixed age's. Depending on which of our indoor units they go into, they will be placed in batch sizes from 44 to 100. Correct nutrition is particularly vital at this stage so, with the help of a nutritionist, we like to formulate our own diets. We use Regumate® on the gilts to synchronise oestrus, allowing us to slot them into the batches at around 220 to 240 days and ultimately control when they replace the sows, which average 6.5 parities, giving us a 45 per cent replacement rate.

"AI, gives high levels of control needed for successful batch farrowing and on average gilts are serviced 2.2 times and we are very pleased with our results. We have conceptions rates of around 90%; and average around 13 piglets born alive and easily over 10 reared per litter. Our aim is to have groups of pigs going through the system as efficiently as possible, without mixed sourcing, keeping the business as cost effective as possible."

Semen Delivery

"Coolink, JSR's Semen Delivery System, works very well for us. The JSR team are very accommodating, ensuring we get next day delivery, even when on the odd occasion we have to amend our order. Semen is delivered in a temperature controlled environment in state of the art flat packs, which are very good in that they fit all types of catheter and are very easy to use on-farm. Just unscrewing the tab gives a good hold and better seal for the catheter. As for the semen itself, it's reassuring to know that regular quality checks are carried out, with JSR inspecting all semen collected for abnormalities."

"Only the top 2 per cent of JSR boars are selected for AI use and each individual boar sample is given a morphological stain and checked," confirms Steve Cook, JSR's AI Manager, "a protocol that far exceeds BPEX's 1 in 4 recommendation. We undertake a series of inspections: including for motility and density using x 1000 magnification. Any collection with over 30 per cent malformation is discarded. This ensures that we maintain the highest levels of quality and predictability."

With 3 week batch farrowing producing a regular throughput of animals, The East Anglian Pig Company finish high numbers of stock. "Our JSR GC 750 finishers give a killing out percentage of around 76 per cent and FCR of 3.1 - 3.3 (deadweight)," concludes Mr Bowes. "East Anglian Pigs' great attention to detail and high standards of husbandry are second to none," says Giles Christie, JSR's UK Sales Director. "AI and the management of incoming gilts not only forms the cornerstone for this high performance business but has also been used by Charles and his team to achieve that most important target, meeting the demands of the consumer."