Running a farm with sows, finishers, and arable farming with limited labor. The robustness of the TN Tempo makes it possible to produce problem-free and without health problems. This leads to efficient and easy production.
The two Weijs brothers run their sow, finisher, and arable farm themselves with just 0.5 FTE in help. Operating a farm of this size with a limited labor force requires a problem-free and easy production. Pigs that overcome disturbances without trouble or delay are essential. The TN Tempo does this with its robustness and contributes to efficient, problem-free, high production in one of Europe’s most pig dense regions.
Effect from day one
The positive effect of TN Tempo can already be seen in the farrowing barn. “They are strong, robust piglets from the day they are born. And their inborn appetite is something we use by starting to feed them a milk-based feed from the second day after they are born. We gradually replace the milk-based feed with piglet feed in 2 weeks’ time.” Jos Weijs explains. The appetite shows, as feeders are almost empty a few hours after they are filled.
Jos Weijs: “We do not need any expensive fancy special feeds, just the standard feed from our feed supplier.” The weaning also goes problem-free with this standard feed. There are no disturbances or health issues. The TN Tempo pigs keep on eating.
When the pigs are transported to the finisher barn, no problems occur. Again: feed intake is not affected, just as during the feed changes during the finisher period itself. Feed intake is high during the finisher period, near to ad libitum. The TN Tempo finishers are easy eaters with appetite. Combined with the robustness, that makes it possible to use feed that is € 0.05 per kilo growth lower than the Dutch average.
No health problems in high-density pig region
Health is not an issue at the Weijs farm. This is another strong point of the TN Tempo. The farm units of the Weijs brothers are in the southeast of the Netherlands, which is one of the most pig-dense regions of Europe. Big modern pig farms surround the farm. In almost every direction, you see other production units just several hundred meters away.
The farm with conventional health status does not require any special measures, besides the normal biosecurity measures, for health. They transport the piglets with their own transport, and they avoid mixing piglets when they go to the finisher farm. The only vaccination the pigs get is against Circo (PCVAD) and the only real health problems that rarely occur are related to streptococci.
The health and robustness of the finishers are not only apparent from their low mortality. Health costs are also low. Almost no antibiotics are used, only in a rare PIA outbreak or when an individual pig has a leg infection or so. This leads to €0.25 in health costs per marketed pig. The Dutch average is over three times higher.
Piglet quality is success in finishing
The problem-free production in the finisher phase has its foundation in the farrowing and piglet rearing. René Weijs: “If you can start with a good quality young finisher, you know that you have a good finishing. In that way, the robustness of the TN Tempo offspring in early life can also be seen in the finishing barn.”
The Weijs brothers see the TN Tempo as an important element in being able to run their business efficiently with a low labor requirement. “With just a bit of extra help, we can run our farm together. The TN Tempo makes it possible to do our work easily and just as important in a rewarding and enjoyable way.”
In the summer of 2019, a unique weather record for the Netherlands was set. For the first time ever, the temperature reached more than 40 Celsius. In a country where normal heatwaves go to a maximum of 35 Celsius, this effect of global warming gave pig farmers new challenges, as barns and ventilation is not designed for these high temperatures. Especially in finisher barns, this led to high temperatures. René Weijs: ”We had our problems, but looking back the TN Tempo finishers coped with it well. Growth was not affected as much as I hear from other farmers with other genetics. Feed intake was not affected much either.”
Brothers Jos (photo on the left, together with son Rick) and René Weijs (bottom photo) in Castenray (South-East Netherlands) run a farm with 750 Topigs Norsvin sows, 3300 finisher places, and 40 hectares of land. They transport gilts to the farm and piglets between the locations. They also transport piglets to third parties who buy a part of the production. They manage to do all this with the help of a part-time employee (20 hours/week) in the farrowing barn. The father of the two also helps for a few hours per week. The sows wean 32.2 piglets per year, liveborn per litter is 16 and mortality until weaning is 13%. The finishers have a feed conversion rate of 2.32, feed costs per kg growth is € 0.61. Daily gain is 813 gram and mortality is 3.5%. Slaughter data: meat percentage 59.4% with 66 mm loin depth and 13.5 mm back fat.