Pig Breeding

Date: 25/03/19

Pig Breeding

While springtime may be the obvious season for the arrival of lambs, and is often the high season for calf production, pig breeding can take place all year round – and Kilco is there to support Britain and Ireland’s pig farmers every step of the way.

According to the UK Government Livestock figures, Britain’s farms hold around 4.6m pigs. This is down significantly from 20 years ago, when the herd numbered over 6 million, but the number has held steady in recent years, despite a slight downturn in the demand for pork products. Of that herd, 3.6m of the pigs are in England with the remaining million are spread around the other home nations. 

The female breeding population in the UK is around 406,000, of which 350,000 are sows (pigs who have had at least one litter) and 55,000 are gilts (pigs yet to produce piglets).

Increasing pig productivity

The key to productivity, and therefore profitability, in pig farming, is down to the number of piglets successfully weaned per litter. In the UK we lag behind the European average of 13.2 live pigs per litter, with over 40% of gilts and sows producing nine or less piglets and leaving the herd as a result.

The difference between the best and the worst can be significant, with the top 10% of pigs producing over 30 piglets per year, while the worst will produce less than nine on their first litter and be removed from the breeding programme. 

However, producing sufficient live births is just the start. Keeping the young pigs safe from disease and appropriately nourished is just as important if they are to reach maturity. This is where Kilco’s farrow to finish support really comes into its own.

Farrow to finish protection

Now part of the world leading Kersia Group, Kilco has been right behind pig farmers for decades, offering all the advice, training and guidance farmers and their teams need to keep their pigs healthy and disease free. Successful piglet rearing is based on a virtuous circle of good health, high quality nutrition and effective farrowing management, alongside appropriate biosecurity protocols, and Kilco can help at every stage.

Kilco works with farmers to create efficient, effective biosecurity that prevents disease entering a farm, and if it does, preventing the spread from shed to shed. Our products include an extensive range of DEFRA approved disinfectants and long cling detergents, for both daily use and periodic cleaning and disinfection.

Kilco can also provide everything from bedding powder to water system biosecurity, covering the full lifecycle of the pig, including peripheral products such as transport disinfectants and operator hygiene products, such as hand sanitiser.

More importantly, we can help you create and implement simple biosecurity protocols that can be incorporated into your daily routine, raising your standards through everyday habits that become a way of life.

Inventing a food safe world

You can count on Kilco and Kersia to work with you to maximise biosecurity that protects your production and your profits right now. And you can also rest assured that we are constantly working to improve and enhance that product range. With Kilco’s Functional Chemical Research Centre at Mallusk in Ireland working together with Kersia’s research centres across Europe, we strive to stay one step ahead of the challenges facing pig farmers, keeping the industry strong and healthy for years to come. 


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