Growth in Straw Based Pig Housing – As seen in Pig World
Straw based pig housing systems are claimed to be gaining increasing favour among producers, in response to rising “demand from supermarkets” for pigs reared under such systems.
The Suffolk-based buildings company, Quality Equipment, has reported a “steady growth in demand” for this type of housing.
“In the last year alone we have constructed 14,000 new (straw based) pig places and kitted out a further 10,000. Providing enough capacity to produce over 50,000 pigs a year”, said the company. “In addition, we’ve carried out numerous conversions of cattle and poultry sheds to straw-based systems”.
QE’s construction manager, Aidan Hubbard, said that pigs reared under these conditions can fetch a premium, driven by a growth in demand from supermarkets for pigs reared under outdoor and welfare friendly systems.
“Straw-based systems are often seen as labour-intensive, but with push-through dung passages and automatic feeding, this doesn’t need to be the case”, said QE. “Straw also allows pigs to express some of their natural behavioural instincts, a factor which is seen as a sales benefit of British pork produced under this system”.
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