Area of Expertise:

Pig research and development at AFBI is centred at Hillsborough on a 150 birth to bacon sow herd. The AFBI pig unit offers a number of specialised research facilities designed to conduct detailed scientific investigations in the areas of nutrition, production and welfare.

Pig Research and Development


Research focusing on pig health and meat quality is also carried out at the Stormont and Newforge sites respectively. Statistical expertise in AFBI can offer the pig industry novel computer programmes tailored to monitor and ultimately improve the overall profitability of pig production.


Pig Production, Nutrition and Welfare

Integrated research programmes are undertaken in the areas of production, nutrition, welfare and meat quality. The 150 birth to bacon sow herd based at AFBI Hillsborough is managed as a commercial herd. The herd is complemented with specialised research resources, which enables detailed scientific investigations to be conducted. Interlinking research across the areas of production, nutrition, welfare and meat quality allows the achievement of commercially applicable conclusions. Currently key areas of research include:

  • Maximising efficient feed intake of pigs from birth to bacon
  • Investigation of the nutritive value of ‘new’ and traditional raw materials in pig feed
  • Reducing the environmental footprint of pig production
  • Reducing the variable growth rate of pigs
  • Pre-empting and advising on the effect of proposed welfare legislation
  • Identification of on farm factors which affect pig meat quality


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Sustainable livestock systems