The Bosgoed-Brink family in the Netherlands constructed a finisher pig house with pens for large groups. Both the owners and the inhabitants have been thriving and first results look promising.
Loudly gurgling, a fat, black-spotted finisher pig is speeding in between snoozing penmates towards the weighing station. There he has to wait for a second until the weighing process has been completed. Next, the animal takes a sprint around the feeding trough to go back through the one-way sluice into the lying area, disappearing from sight through a hole in the wall. The other pigs don’t seem too bothered about the noisy neighbour and continue doing what they were doing.
Name: Hilde Brink, 43.
Location: Wilp (Gld), the Netherlands.
Farm: The Bosgoed-Brink farm has 2,950 finisher pigs in large groups. In addition, the farm also owns a compound feed mill (called Bosgoed) with an annual production of 45,000 tonnes. Bosgoed also keeps pigs in external pig houses. One of these locations was acquired and a new facility was built in which animal welfare was key. The pig house cost just more than € 450 per pig place. The first round has been sent for slaughter and results are satisfactory. Checking up usually takes a little longer than usual, but pig delivery is fast.
Pigs housed in large groups
It is clear that pig producer Hilde Brink enjoys the sight of pigs playing. The Bosgoed-Brink family recently constructed a pig house for 2,950 finishers in large groups. The house has seven sections for 375 pigs and one for 325. This last section was made a touch smaller to allow space for a visitor room with a viewing gallery.
Opting for a large group operation wasn’t an overnight decision, Mrs Brink explains. She appreciates animal welfare, hence she wanted the pig house to allow for feeling comfortably and performing well. Having explored the market for a long time, the farm decided to opt for large groups.
Hilde Brink checking up on the finisher pigs. To attract the animals, she is providing a little bit of straw. That makes contact with the animals fun. Photo: Ronald Hissink
She explains, “The most important reason for us to choose for this is that the pigs have a huge space at their disposal, in which it is easy to diversify between functionalities.” The animals have a special lying area, an eating and drinking zone and a space for defecation. Mrs Brink adds, “And because there’s a wall with openings in each section, the pigs can ‘flee’ when they feel unsafe.”
The first round of pigs has been delivered and first results are positive. Corrected growth figures between 25 to 177 kg was 824 g/day at a feed conversion rate of 2.45 (energy or EW conversion of 2.75). The meat percentage (Topigs 50 x PIC 408) was 58.9% at an average slaughterweight of 96 kg (deadweight). Muscle thickness was 73.9 mm, backfat thickness was 14.53 mm.
第一轮猪已交付，初步结果反映良好。在饲料转化率为2.45(能量或电子能转化率为2.75)的情况下，25至177公斤之间的修正生长数据为824克/天。平均屠宰重量为96公斤(自重)时，肉品百分率(Topigs 50 x PIC 408)为58.9%。肌肉厚度为73.9 mm，背膘厚为14.53 mm。
In the first round, the farm chose to separate barrows and gilts; in subsequent rounds, however, they were mixed. Daily growth in the second round was observed to be higher than in the same moment in the previous round.