Fewer Sows, More Pigs in Total in UK Census

24 September 2012, at 10:03am

UK - According to the census carried out in June 2012, the number of pigs in England increased by 1.7 per cent to almost 3.7 million. The female pig breeding herd saw a small decrease in 2012, whereas fattening pigs increased by 1.8 per cent.

The total number of pigs has increased by 1.7 per cent in 2012 to 3.7 million. While the number of fattening pigs rose by 1.8 per cent to 3.2 million, the female breeding herd saw a 0.8 per cent decrease to 351,000. A younger breeding herd has led to improvements in sow productivity therefore availability of pigs for slaughter is good, which may explain the increase in the fattening pigs. However recent high feed and input costs may start to impact on returns and some destocking is expected, which may have more impact later in 2012.

The figure below shows the total female breeding herd has declined in numbers over the past decade, falling from 458,000 in 2002 to 351,000 in 2012. Sows in pig account for over two-thirds of the total breeding herd.

Numbers of gilts in pig and other sows are broadly similar.

Breakdown of the female pig breeding herd 1 June 2002 to 2012

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.