Project: Investigation of methods to improve the efficient use of feed by pigs

Area of Expertise:

Project objective: This project builds on previous DARD funded research (Projects 0290) which has been used effectively by CAFRE technologies to advise the pig industry on best management practices and by pig producers to improve productivity.

Project leader: Dr Elizabeth Magowan

Project details

The current programme of research has been requested by CAFRE Technologists as an essential continuation to previous research in the ongoing strive to improve the efficiency of pig production in NI and provide sustainable solutions for all producers.

Members of the feed industry (Kiernans Milling, John Thompson and Sons Ltd and Devenish Nutrition Ltd) and producer groups (ReGen, BPEX) have also expressed both financial and academic support for the current programme of research.

Overall objectives of the programme of research

  1. To optimise the use of expensive starter diets pre and post weaning so that savings in feed cost can be attained without compromising the lifetime performance of pigs
  2. To evaluate different feed forms in terms of cost of production through the mill and feed efficiency use on farm so that accurate advise can be give to the feed industry and pig producers regards the economics involved in Low energy feed.
  3. To investigate the effect of disturbance in the latter finishing stages on pig growth and feed efficiency so that producers can seek alternative management strategies to selecting pigs at slaughter so that optimum growth performance and feed efficiency is maintained for all pigs until slaughter.

Knowledge Transfer

Magowan, E. , Ball, M.E. (2013). Pig Research to Improve Sustainability Seminar. Presentation to 80 representatives from the pig industry of research findings in the areas of feed use efficiency, sow nutrition and worm conrol.

Magowan, E. (2013). Summary of research findings from Pig ReGen funded work. A booklet summaring recent research findings which was distributed to pig farmers and industry representatives attending the 'PigsRus' conference in Cookstown organised by Parklands Vets.

Magowan, E. , Ball, M. E. E. (2013). Effect of split gender grouping and phase feeding on finishing pig performance. technical report to industry

Magowan, E. (2013). Presentation of results to 'Omagh Group' producers. Presentation of results to pig producers

Magowan, E. (2012). Pig Seminar at AFBI Hillsborough. Press release reporting on the Pig Seminar held at Hillsborough. Published in the Farming Life and Farm Week.

Magowan, E. , Ball, M.E. (2012). Makig the most of feed for finishing pigs. Paper in: Pig Research to Improve Sustainability, Research Seminar at AFBI Hillsborough.

Magowan, E. , Ball, M. E. E. (2012). Pig reserach to improve sustainability - 2 papers at this pig seminar. proceedings of a pig seminar in Nov 2012 organsied and held at AFBI Hillsborough

Magowan, E. (2012). Creep feeding pre-weaning. Article in the Pig Bulletin. A joint publication by CAFRE and AFBI for pig producers in NI.

Magowan, E. , Ball, M. E. E. (2012). Use of phase feeding for finisher pigs. Technical report to funders (Pig Regen Ltd)

Magowan, E. , Ball, M.E. (2011). Effect of starter diet allowance on post weaning pig performance. Technical report to funders, Pig ReGen Ltd.

Leslie, A. L. , Magowan, E. (2011). Improving Feed Efficiency on Pig Farms: A Review of Literature. Funded by PigRegen Ltd and DARD(NI)

Magowan, E. (2011). Does it pay to take pigs to heavy slaughter weights?. Farming Life, August 13, 2011

Magowan, E. (2011). Meal or Pellets for your piggy bank. Farming Life, July 30, 2011

Magowan, E. , Ball, M. E. E. (2011). Meal or pellets for the piggy bank. Farming life and others in June 2011

Ball, M. E. E. , Magowan, E. (2011). Effect of particle size in and pelleting of finsihing pigs diets. Report to co-funders (John Thompsons and Sons Ltd, Devenish Nutrition Ltd and PCM)

Magowan, E. (2010). Feeding the post weaned pig (September 2010). Farming life etc

Magowan, E. , Ball, M. E. E. (2010). The effect of starter diet allowance on post weaning pig performance - Interium report on trials 1 -5. Technical report to Funders - Pig ReGen Ltd

Magowan, E. (2009). The use of starter diets to optimise performance post weaning. Article in the proceedings of the Northern Ireland Pig Event 2009