Pig Breeding and Finishing
All our pigs are bred, grown and reared under very strictly controlled conditions independently audited by and marketed under the Assured British Pigs (ABP) banner and Red Tractor Scheme.
The costs of adhering to this system are considerable and make British pork higher welfare than most imported pig meat.
Bedfordia’s 1,100 breeding sows are located on two breeding farms- Arnoe Farm and Highfields Farm. Replacement stock is sourced through the nucleus herd of 160 sows replacing Landrace/ Large white F1 gilts for both breeding units, these are then crossed with different Sireline for producing the slaughter pigs.
Key Performance Indicators (As of May 2017)
|Pigs born per litter||14.6|
|Litters per sow per year||2.4|
|Pigs born per sow per year||35|
|Weaner growth rate||570g per day|
|Finisher growth rate||1,015g per day|
|Finisher feed conversion rate (FCR)||2.45|
Breeding unit development
2011 saw the completion of a rebuild of both our breeding farms. The accommodation encompasses many BAT (best available techniques) and are some of the most modern in Europe.
- The farrowing ventilation system brings fresh air underneath the building, this causes a ‘cellar’ type effect, cooling the air in the summer and warming it in the winter
- Installed trays beneath the sows only hold small volumes of slurry before being emptied. This system reduces ammonia emissions’ from the farrowing house by 60%, which reduces green house gasses and improve the quality of air in the farrowing house
- Each sows farrowing area rises when she stands up from feeding her piglets. The ‘balance floors’ raise the sow above the level of the piglets. Thus vastly reduces piglet mortality especially in the first two weeks post farrowing
- The walls and roof have 100mm insulation which ensures the best possible thermal control
- Part of the lying area of the sow can be cooled. When the sow is giving birth and subsequently producing milk her body temperature rises. By cooling part of the lying area she can be kept more comfortable resulting in better milk production for her piglets
- Heat is recovered from the weaner building via a central air tunnel and heat pump. The heat pump has a ‘co-efficient of performance’ of 5:1, in effect producing 5 x the heat that energy consumed. The heat is then used to warm the smaller pigs in both farrowing and weaner buildings
The 34,000 progeny are grown on the breeding sites to 35-40 kg. 30,000 are then moved to Twinwoods Finishing Unit and the remaining are sold through Meadow Quality Ltd to be finished off-site.
Twinwoods is a modern 6,600 place computerised feeding co product liquid feed, finishing farm where 30,000 pigs are finished per annum.
The majority of our pigs are sold on a long-term contract at 19-20 weeks and 105kg weight to Morrison’s and C&K Meats Ltd through Meadow Quality.
Bedfordia also supply local butcher Evans & Son.
Slurry from Twinwoods finishing farm is piped directly to the adjacent anaerobic digestion plant where it is combined with food waste and used to produce heat and electricity as well as bio fertiliser.
Bedfordia produced bacon approximately has 30% lower carbon foot print per kg of bacon compared to the UK standard.