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UK Pig Research Centre, Bedfordshire - March 2013

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Well here is my first report on the site so please be gentle !!

Wasn't sure what to expect with this it was either going to be a fail or a quick mooch round a yard but how wrong I was !

Was there for several hours and the place is a lot bigger than it looks and relatively untouched, it made for an enjoyable morning and a lot of pictures to go through. Below is a History of the place and then the pics. There were also some resedential properties here but were all much of the same and not of any real interest....

The British pig industry owes a huge debt of gratitude to its centre of research and development done here.

The UK pig industries Development Unit, in Bedfordshire was opened by Lord Belstead, Minister of State (Lords), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods in November 1984.

Over the years it has undergone many changes but has always been at the forefront of research firmly aimed at delivery of practical opportunities, work which could be quickly disseminated and implemented on working pig farms.

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At its peak the unit employed 10 staff and had 300 sows farrow to finish. However major changes in the industry and a fundamental shift in the strategy of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) meant it was no longer needed and over the last six months has been gradually wound down.

The final piece of research work was completed in May 2007, part of the Defra LINK �3.5m weaner research programme. The centre's part was to look at weaner diets that maximised the use of home-grown cereals and oilseeds. To the end, the stock performed excellently with weaning to slaughter growth rates of 740g/day and grower to slaughter in excess of 1050g/day.

A BPEX Director of Pig Industry Development said: "It has been a huge asset to the industry over the years and we are sad to see it go. "BPEX carried out a major review of its research and development and unfortunately itdidn't fit into the new perspective."

Research over the years

Over the years, the work has included:

- Introduction of soya bean meal to pig diets

- Copper sulphate as a growth promoter

- Evaluation of commercial genotypes for sow productivity, growth

- Performance and carcase and meat quality (Stotfold First Trial)

- Development of ultrasound technology for carcase composition

- Blueprint for pig meat eating quality

- Stotfold sow lactation feeding strategy

- Phase-feeding - protein requirements of commercial genotypes

- Established speed of growth and pork tenderness were positively

correlated

- Liquid feeding offers savings of 14p/kg dead weight

- Liquid feeding halves the percentage of pigs testing positive for Salmonella at slaughter

BPEX has been exploring the redevelopment of the site and planning permission is being applied for.

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As said by everyone, bloody stonking write up and history, followed by some awesome pics, love it love it love it :) , poor ole pigs though, that said I am partial to a bacon sarnie or two :D

:thumb

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One of my first explores was a abandoned pig farm, was really cool! Excellent write up, nice pics, thanks for sharing! :thumb

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Guest Scattergun

First up it's nice to speak to you mate, a big welcome to the forum fae me. Excellent first report mate, well researched and a really interesting read! Really good pics there too, deffo gives a bit of a sinister look to the piggy death house. Something a little different is always good, looking forward to seeing more :)

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Guest Captain Slow
Horrible place for the pigs

+1

I did like your standard of report though, thorough from start to finish. Nicely done.

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