Dunbia supply chain winner sees birth of first piglets

Dunbia has reported the first piglets have been born at its Pig Innovation Centre, winner of the supply chain initiative at our Meat and Poultry Processing Awards (MPPA).

The Pig Innovation Centre offers a purpose-built facility for free farrowing pens, where its first piglets were born towards the end of last month. The indoor pig facility, which holds 320 sows, is located 15 miles from Dunbia’s site in Ballymena and allows the company to monitor the physical performance and welfare of different farrowing crates, bedding and space allowances, as well as enabling the ability to show rooting behaviour.

Gavin Hodgson, agriculture manager for Dunbia and the Centre’s farm manager, said: “We have spent a year designing, building and implementing the new farrowing pens, so that we can conduct detailed trial work into a range of areas of pig production. We have installed four different types of free farrowing pens, which will enable us to conduct pen and flooring trials, as well as sow and piglet behaviour observation studies, including laying, feeding, farrowing and nesting behaviour.”

Dunbia also worked in partnership with Key Farms and the Sainsbury’s Agriculture Grant Scheme on the innovation centre. Philip Hambling, agriculture manager for Sainsbury’s, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to see the first piglets born and we look forward to many more successful litters from the farm. This is one of many progressive projects we are working on with our producers and farmers, allowing us to develop and extend our products.

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