Herd Productivity of the Year
Paul Hume and his team run a 950-sow outdoor breeding unit on a three-week batch production system, weaning at four weeks at 7.5kg.
On receiving the award, Paul said: “I’m really pleased to win this award; we’ve worked hard and it’s great recognition for this – it’s brilliant.”
Paul moved sites in autumn 2017 and repopulated at the same time, taking the opportunity to fully disinfect all the equipment. Since the move, performance has continued to improve.
He said: “Business is really good, the new site has really light land, which has helped us
Key production figures include an average of 29.7 pigs/sow/year with a farrowing rate of 95.2% and 12.2 pigs weaned/litter. Pre-weaning mortality was 9.8%, with pigs weaned at 8kg.
The new sows are a cross of Danish Landrace and White Duroc and the grandparents are pure Landrace. While he usually serves the grandparents with White Durocs, every 20 months or so he serves the highest performing grandparents with LR semen to produce a new batch of grandparents.
Paul is continuously looking to invest in his unit and this year he has invested in a new hand feed trailer for the older batch of farrowing. This comes with an added water tank, which is used to fill cube drinkers for the piglets in the farrowing to help the bigger litters.
A new livestock trailer with added compartments to help when vaccinating, and a new LEC vaccine fridge have also been invested in.
Paul has also invested in his gilt matrix system with buying an extra three huts and runs and will split every batch into two pens the whole way through the system, this has its benefits when Paul breeds his own GP’s, by being able to keep them sperate from his standard gilt.
All gilts and sows are nose rung, which is to help maintain a flat and level bed for when the sows farrow down and keeps a low pre-weaning mortality to under 10%.
All sows are on a grass mix which was established before the herd was moved to the new site.
Paul said: “Having a grass mix ley provides good drainage for the land preventing run off and water logging, making it a better environment for the sows.”
What the Judges said:
“Paul is continuously investing in and improving his unit with a focus on thriving piglets and biosecurity”