BODY CONDITION SCORING: BPEX is looking for pig producers interested in taking part in field trials to investigate the associations between indicators of sow metabolic status at key lifetime stages and reproductive performance of sows in subsequent parities.

Interested producers should ideally need to be able to body condition score and weight sows and to measure P2 backfat thickness and heart girth circumference of sows. Each of these measurements need to be made at farrowing, weaning and service. Since heart girth circumference is a new and novel measurement, expert technical advice and input will be given by BPEX.

The costs of labour and any inconvenience incurred as well as any necessary equipment purchase (such as scales, scanner, girth tape measure) will be covered by BPEX.


BEST PRACTICE FARROWING MANAGEMENT: BPEX is looking for pig producers interested in taking part in field trials to investigate implementation of best practice management in the farrowing house. This trial is aimed especially at producers who feel that they would like to improve their pre-weaning mortality.

While the top third of indoor producers are averaging 13 born alive and 10.7% pre-weaning mortality, the bottom third are struggling with mortality rates of 3.8% higher (14.5%) with one less pig born per litter (11.8).

Producers will need to maintain their current practice as a performance baseline and implement a best practice protocol that will be provided by BPEX. The following parameters will need to be measured:

Body condition score and parity of sows at farrowing
Piglet weight (before and after fostering) and weaning weights
Numbers born and numbers weaned
Mortality (and reason for death)
Daily growth rates and food conversion ratio for both baseline and ‘best practice’ pigs to 4 weeks post weaning.

For further details on these trials, please contact BPEX:
Peter Dunne on 024 7647 8621 or mobile 075 8070 4323)
Charlotte West on 024 7647 8796 or mobile 078 1343 0605)