Keeping Pigs the Dutch Way in Russia

NETHERLANDS - Over the past two weeks, Russian pig farmer, Anastasia Kuzmicheva, has visited the Netherlands to learn about pig production there and to see Nedap Velos sow feeding stations in operation.
calendar icon 5 January 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

At home on the family farm in Ivanova, 250 kilometres north-east of Moscow, Ms Kuzmicheva keeps 250 sows. The piglets are fattened on the farm, slaughtered and the pork is sold in her own shops. For the last year, the pregnant sows are receiving their feed via four Nedap Velos sow feeding stations.

Ms Kuzmicheva is enthusiastic about what she saw and learned in one week on a Dutch pig farm with 640 sows, 400 fattening pigs, Nedap Velos feeding stations and 28 piglets per sow.

She said: "Dutch pig farmers work according to a fixed daily schedule. For example, by always weaning piglets on Thursdays, there are no sows in heat during the weekend, and therefore most sows are ready for insemination on Tuesdays. The activities on other days are geared to this. Everyone knows beforehand what has to be done and on what day. That is much more efficient than what we do in Russia."

She also wants to start working with a plan on her farm. Her nine workers can then spend more time with the pigs and she expects better results.

She added: "In the Netherlands I have seen that giving more attention to, for example, heat detection, insemination, newborn piglets and sows in the farrowing crates, is rewarded with better results."

During the last week, Ms Kuzmicheva visited open house days on several farms that had built new pig barns. There she also noticed that Dutch pig barns are designed to work efficiently, for example by short walk lines.

She explained: "If we work in Russia like they do in the Netherlands, then with the same number of workers, we will be able to keep more sows that raise more piglets that produce more pork."

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