Hermitage Deutschland GmbH Successful Partnership

GERMANY - Franz Kratzer started his Bavarian pig production in the early 90's with a small herd of breeding sows and specialized piglet rearing with 3,000 fattening places.
calendar icon 6 April 2011
clock icon 4 minute read
Hermitage Genetics

Initially, he also sourced weaners from different producers to fill his fattening accommodation, however, this multi-sourcing of weaners brought several health challenges, so in 2004 he decided to produce only his own weaners and increase his sow herd to 800 sows in a 3 week rhythm under high health conditions. This was a key project project at that time in Bavaria, and he asked his friend Martin Rauch to start a cooperation and go into business together.

There were many challenges in achieving planning permission for such a project at that time, however, both partners had a clear target and remained focused on their plan. After 1 year they received permission to build their new stable for 800 sows, which was completed in 2005.

Hermitage Deutschland GmbH started cooperation with Mr Kratzer and Mr Rauch in July 2004. The farm was stocked with Hermitage High Health purebred Landrace GGP gilts and F1 Parent gilts. Since the beginning the farm has successfully worked with the Hermitage Closed Herd Pure Bred BLUP Program and Maternal Line GGP semen from the Hermitage Deutschland High Health AI Centre at Golzow. The partners have a clear sharing of responsibilities in the business. Martin Rauch is the herd manager and Franz Kratzer is looking after the piglet rearing, gilt production, purchases and sales.

Both partners praise the high health status of their herd and the performance of the easy to manage Hermitage sow. They need only five and a quarter hours per sow per year and together with themselves, only two additional full time employees work on the unit and they easily achieve over 31pigs born alive per sow per year. The piglets have a very consistent and even birth weight and achieve excellent daily gains of approximately 480g – 500g per day from weaning until 25Kgs with and less than 1 per cent losses. Both partners see very clearly the development of the fertility in the Hermitage lines and are pleased that the Hermitage sows can feed all their piglets by themselves. “We found the right balance on economics and are happy that we have the right genetic partner in Hermitage“, both partners commented.

Mr Kratzer and Mr Rauch appreciate very much the breeding support of Hermitage and that was one of the reasons that they have decided to expand their unit to a capacity of 2000 sows operating a Hermitage Closed Herd BLUP Programme. They plan to be finished this stage of the expansion by the end of this year. Their target is then to sell 1000 weaners per week directly to fattening customers. The weaners which they produce are very much in demand due to their high health status and excellent fattening performance, so that Mr. Kratzer and Mr. Rauch have a waiting list of customers for their pigs. They are already planning further expansion for the future.

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