Improving piglets’ appetite

Pig stockmen are aiming to improve the appetite of piglets following the Bpex Stockman Development course this year.

Approaching the piglet appetite issue by “being the sow” at weaning, stockman Tom Bradshaw said: “In the past, piglets have usually taken a couple of days to get a good appetite after weaning. Now I am going to put a small bit of feed in a long white trough every half an hour for the first two days after being weaned - this is so the piglets become aware that this is me telling them it’s time to eat.”

The course has been developed in a bid to boost practical pig husbandry skills and provide greater knowledge of the supply chain. This year, the course was attended by seven trainees.

In the last training session, the trainees were taught veterinary and medicine skills, in addition to practising injecting.

Winner of the Student of the Year award Kenny Lowes said: “I’m still finding things to improve in my stockmanship after 22 years working with pigs. I now understand more about the theory behind the practical work I do and why we need to do things a certain way.”