Busy time waiting for succesful breeding

Vicky Scott pig farmer at Pockthorpe Hall, Kilham.
Vicky Scott pig farmer at Pockthorpe Hall, Kilham.

I’m late writing this – time is just flying by and I can’t believe it’s October already.

Harvest is all done and dusted and in the end we didn’t do too bad on the straw front with only a few wet bales to use down the passage ways – I think it could have been a lot worse!

Dotty is scanned and living it up in the yard whilst Jude has let me down and returned at 22 days!

Basically this means that she hasn’t held in pig and will not be pregnant to that first service date.

Pigs cycle every 21 days and if for some reason there is a problem with the service they return and come back into oestrus and back on heat again between about day 18 and day 25. This is exactly what Jude has done.

We re-served when she came back on heat so fingers (and toes) crossed she holds in pig this time because the prognosis for her is not good if she returns again.

It’s autumn infertility season again and we have put all our management procedures in place to try and minimise its effects.

I’ve explained before, but pigs are seasonal breeders and do not like becoming pregnant and giving birth in the coldest winter months.

Our system is pretty extensive and we do see the effects as you cannot fool a pig that the nights are getting longer and colder.

Historically we have seen an increase in pigs returning irregularly– after about 25 days served, the opposite to naughty Jude.

We have perfected our management to try and minimise the effects and are all just praying that they hold in pig. I’ll let you know next month.

We have been very busy for the last few weeks with two members of staff off poorly. It puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the team but they are doing a sterling job and pigs are looking good. Get better soon to the poorly two!

We are weaning our freedom farrowing room next week and are hoping to do some work in there before refilling with some new ideas we brain stormed with the vet on his last visit to try and improve its performance.

Freedom farrowing has been a challenge but I’m determined to improve what we have and get some positive results.

Just a little aside to finish this month’s column.

My sister, Rachel, and I ran the Great North Run for Cancer Research and Alzheimer’s disease last month.

We’re still accepting sponsorship if anyone would like to pledge some money.

Visit www.justgiving.com/RachelLucasRun or wwwjustgiving.com/vicky-scott4 to donate online.