Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Liquid feeding for pigs: Systems research - LS3601

A multidisciplinary research programme on optimising finishing systems for pig production, addressing corporate and policy priorities (cost of production, food safety and quality) and covering research activity relating to public sector policy (environmental impact and welfare) has been jointly developed by research organisations, producers and the MLC. The proposed research programme is aimed at optimising key components of finishing systems, feeding (ad libitum liquid and dry feeding) and housing (fully slatted and straw based) for pigs to:

Reduce cost of production
Limit environmental impact
Improve food safety
Enhance pig welfare and health

The programme involves the Universities of Nottingham, Plymouth and Newcastle and Silsoe Research Institute, Veterinary Laboratories Agency and MLC`s Technical Division, Stotfold Pig Development Unit and the Meat Technology Unit. The welfare and health element of the programme is covered under a separate application to MAFF by the University of Newcastle.

The opportunity to develop a multidisciplinary project, which has the potential to deliver benefits along the supply chain as well as cover public sector interests, has arisen from recent BPEX approved levy investment at MLC`s Stotfold Pig Development Unit. This facility will enable controlled investigations on the interaction between components of the housing (e.g. straw v fully-slatted flooring) and feeding system (e.g. dry v liquid feeding) on pig production.

The research effort includes development of liquid feeding technology to improve nutrient utilisation, enhance food safety and reduce environmental impact. This includes processing of liquid feeds with enzymes and controlled fermentation with lactic acid bacteria. The development of fermentation technology for on-farm application will coincide with the completion of the underpinning research at Plymouth University. This systems research is therefore strongly positioned to exploit the know-how from MLC/MAFF and Liquid Feeders Research Group investment in the more basic/strategic work at Plymouth University.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Liquid feeding for pigs: Systems research   (3138k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2005

Cost: £1,751,943
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Meat and Livestock Commission
Climate Change              
Livestock Farming              
Natural Resource Use              
Peer Review              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study