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Author Topic: Pig Stocking Densities  (Read 1711 times)

PigsPigsPigs

  • Joined Mar 2021
Pig Stocking Densities
« on: May 12, 2021, 05:40:33 pm »
Hi,
I am trying to create a spreadsheet that tells you stocking densities depending on welfare standards (DEFRA, Red Tractor, RSPCA and Soil Association). 
I am confused because they refer to a weaner in some places as 5days to 8 weeks and in others from 8 weeks.
I have Saddlebacks and I would call my 16 week olds - growers - but a grower under the soil association is 18-35kg and my biggest girl is easily nudging this now and would fall into their Cutters weight range.
Basically, I need a rough guide of age in weeks for:
Piglet
Weaner
Grower
Cutter
Baconer
Then I can roughly standardise the welfare guidelines.
I had it for Saddlebacks as:
Piglet - 0-8 weeks
Weaner - 8-16 weeks
Growers - 16-24 weeks
Cutter - 24-32 weeks
Baconer - 32-40 weeks
with slaughter occurring at the end of those phases if thatís what you were aiming for.
Any help greatly appreciated. Obviously I appreciate that Saddlebacks donít grow at the pace of a Large White.
Thanks so much!

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 05:49:48 pm »
We are not allowed to wean piglets until they are 24 days or older (unless for medical reasons). I thought that was a legal requirement?
Hopefully someone with more knowledge can steer you in the correct direction. Is there nothing on the RSPCA/SPCA websites?
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

HappyHippy

  • Joined Apr 2020
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 08:51:53 pm »
Others may differ in their opinions, but for me a piglet is up to 8 weeks or when it is still with mum. Weaner 8-12 weeks from weaning, grower is 12 weeks plus. Cutter, or more commonly 'porker' in the UK around 60-70kg liveweight and baconer 90kg liveweight plus.
I'm also not sure that stocking density can be considered and classified on a 'one size fits all' basis - unless you're talking about an indoor system where there are no variables in soil type, rainfall, temperature etc.
Where we are, in wet western Scotland on clay soil with an outdoor system, we couldn't run as many pigs as someone who was on better soil with a warmer, drier climate without serious long term implications for our land.
Hope that helps a bit?
Karen  :)

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 10:06:36 pm »
Hi,
I am trying to create a spreadsheet that tells you stocking densities depending on welfare standards (DEFRA, Red Tractor, RSPCA and Soil Association). 


Could we ask the purpose of your spreadsheet out of interest?


Piglets - from new born until weaned off sow. That could be anytime from 3 weeks to 8 weeks old. Sometimes longer. Once they are no longer with the sow so their milk intake is nil they are weaners.
Again people will vary but once weaned until 14 weeks I would call them stores or growers. From 14 weeks onwards I call them finishers. I finish my pigs 20 to 24 weeks at 100 kg live weight. Commercial pigs are finished at 16/18 weeks I believe.


I'm not sure how much a cutter is referred to now but the terms were porkers, cutters then bacon pigs.  Often bacon was made from a young sow who had reared a litter.


We would have pork joints, sausages and bacon from our finished pigs. Cull sows would be sausage and bacon but with a lot more trim and more fat on the bacon.


Absolutely echo HappyHippy's comments on climate, soils, indoor, outdoor units.


It is also possible to finish Saddlebacks within two weeks of a modern breed such as a Large White.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2021, 10:26:33 pm »
We are not allowed to wean piglets until they are 24 days or older (unless for medical reasons). I thought that was a legal requirement?
Hopefully someone with more knowledge can steer you in the correct direction. Is there nothing on the RSPCA/SPCA websites?


Current info on gov.uk is 28 days or from 21 if into specialised housing.

PigsPigsPigs

  • Joined Mar 2021
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 12:57:18 am »
Sorry, maybe I wasnít clear. It is stocking densities for outdoor rearing. I want to compare the enormous disparity between the different Ďlabelsí and then know my exact stocking densities on the basis of which welfare standards I value the most. 
I basically have all 12 sows and the boar in one column and then it shows, across 52 weeks, how much land is needed each week and this then helps me to plan my paddock rotations and under planting for winter to meet the necessary protein requirements.
Iím aware itís a stupidly geeky thing to do but on only 8 acres, I need to plan well.  Currently the sows are moved every fortnight onto fresh woodland/pasture and it prevents poaching.
So it looks like I need to amend to:
Piglets: 0-8 weeks
Weaners: 8-14 weeks
Growers: 14-20 weeks
Cutters: 20-28 weeks
Baconers: 28-36 weeks
Does that sound about right?  Most welfare standards are broken out into those categories with the weight banding as in brackets which is what messes with me.
Weaners (7-18kg)
Growers (18-35kg)
Cutters/Porkers (35kg-85kg)
Baconers (over 85kg)
Iím just pretty sure that my girls were all over 18kg at 8 weeks which is when I would call them a weaner.  My 12 weekers are probably at about 25kg now.  Annoyingly I just really need approximate ages for the 4 categories to be able to complete the spreadsheet.
My current girls are all breeding gilts/sows so itís not relevant to now but once all are breeding, the stocking densities will become all important to their welfare.
Thanks so much for all your help!

PigsPigsPigs

  • Joined Mar 2021
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 01:00:33 am »
Others may differ in their opinions, but for me a piglet is up to 8 weeks or when it is still with mum. Weaner 8-12 weeks from weaning, grower is 12 weeks plus. Cutter, or more commonly 'porker' in the UK around 60-70kg liveweight and baconer 90kg liveweight plus.
I'm also not sure that stocking density can be considered and classified on a 'one size fits all' basis - unless you're talking about an indoor system where there are no variables in soil type, rainfall, temperature etc.
Where we are, in wet western Scotland on clay soil with an outdoor system, we couldn't run as many pigs as someone who was on better soil with a warmer, drier climate without serious long term implications for our land.
Hope that helps a bit?
Karen  :)

Weíre pretty close in what Iíve put then. We have amazing soil with no clay and good drainage so I donít need to put tolerances in for that although I might now so that the spreadsheet could be useful to others. You simply plug in how many piglets you have and how many you keep to finish and it churns out all the calcs.  Gotta love Excel!

PigsPigsPigs

  • Joined Mar 2021
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 01:02:05 am »
We are not allowed to wean piglets until they are 24 days or older (unless for medical reasons). I thought that was a legal requirement?
Hopefully someone with more knowledge can steer you in the correct direction. Is there nothing on the RSPCA/SPCA websites?
I base all weaning on an 8 week wean generally.  It could be slightly less or slightly more depending on how many litters the sow has had and her condition. I canít imagine weaning at 24 days  :-[

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 08:21:39 am »
We are not allowed to wean piglets until they are 24 days or older (unless for medical reasons). I thought that was a legal requirement?
Hopefully someone with more knowledge can steer you in the correct direction. Is there nothing on the RSPCA/SPCA websites?
I base all weaning on an 8 week wean generally.  It could be slightly less or slightly more depending on how many litters the sow has had and her condition. I canít imagine weaning at 24 days  :-[


Most small herds wean at 8 weeks with the same proviso as you that sometimes it might be a little less or a little more. Commercial units wean earlier but I know some small breeders who also wean at around 4 weeks.

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Pig Stocking Densities
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2021, 05:14:41 pm »
I base all weaning on an 8 week wean generally.  It could be slightly less or slightly more depending on how many litters the sow has had and her condition. I canít imagine weaning at 24 days  :-[

We are a commercial farm and the weaners are vaccinated upon weaning and all go to a specialised weaner farm.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

 

Pig Stocking Levels

Started by Wendelspanswick (8.46)

Replies: 11
Views: 2721
Last post November 24, 2018, 12:32:42 pm
by alang

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