Livestock - The Pig Unit

Sow feeding her piglets

This enterprise is a research unit but is managed on a commercial basis. About 120 sows are kept with progeny taken through to slaughter weights of around 90 kg liveweight.

Over the past decade, the unit has undergone a comprehensive re-development, and most of the accommodation has been rebuilt or refurbished. Replacement gilts are mainly home-bred to maintain herd bio-security. Sows are Landrace x (Large White x Duroc) and Large White boars and artificial insemination are used.

Research undertaken on the unit include studies of:

  • breed performance,
  • animal welfare and behaviour,
  • comparisons of feedstuffs,
  • comparisons of housing systems
  • comparisons of veterinary products.

As well as measuring the live performance of pigs on these trials, facilities are also available for assessing meat quality.

The slurry from the unit is piped to the new Anaerobic Digestor facility.