Video on optimising the conditions for foraging pigs
Carl Sheard, an organic pig farmer in France, is experimenting with a system of outdoor fattening using various combinations of forage crops. Within the Horizon 2020 project OK-Net Ecofeed, he aims to reduce the amount of concentrate feed and improve the nutritional quality of meat. Check out the video of Carl explaining the experiments.
Carl started his trials in Pays de la Loire in the west of France in autumn 2019. Phase one of the trial consisted of laying out fences, organising grazing paddocks, familiarising the pigs to the forage parcels and observing and analysing their behaviour. Carl reduced the level of concentrate by a third to encourage forage consumption. Over a six-week period, Carl observed that “The pigs proved to be extremely independent in establishing their own grazing routine”. The results are encouraging for the second phase of the trial, which will focus on pigs’ growth rates, including regular weighing, analysing forage and meat quality. ITAB supervises the experiments.
The OK-Net EcoFeed project helps organic pig and poultry farmers to achieve the goal of 100% use of organic and regional feed. The three-year project will extend the OK-Net knowledge platform. IFOAM EU coordinates the project consisting of 11 partners and 8 third linked parties from 12 countries.