Non-Productive Feeding Days (one angle)

Taking the recent statistics from a UK indoor population of 61K and an outdoor population also of 61K of productive breeding animals it is interesting to analyse a few things. Non-productive cost is analysed initially by looking at the difference between the two systems. The average total non-productive days per herd in the indoor sample is 36596 days with an average productive herd size of 586. The same for the outdoor system is 54533 days for an average herd size of 874. The indoor system records an average of 12.1% non-productive days per population and the outdoor system 16.9% a difference of 4.8% in non-productive days. This is possibly the fundamental cost of the variation in control. If feed cost is then calculated the sample results look like this:

Indoor feed cost/sow/year 253.84…cost/day £0.69…total non-productive cost £25,251.24

Outdoor feed cost/sow/year 376.64…cost/day £1.32…total non-productive cost £71,983.56

The underlying factors being feed usage…indoor 1.329 tonnes/sow/year…outdoor 1.701 tonnes/sow/year. Average feed cost/tonne…indoor £194.95…outdoor £221.15. The advantageous financial implications of home milling for indoor systems can be seen in these figures.

This is a sample representing approximately 25% of the UK indoor production and 38% of the UK outdoor population and so these results need to be considered in perspective. On the basis of this sample non-productive feeding day cost is 2.85 times greater in outdoor production. The difference between the top 10% of performers in each system reports a lower daily cost differential of £0.22 compared to £0.63 in the average sample with the outdoor cost being 2.2 times greater.

However when the output is analysed in terms of pigs weaned/sow/year the indoor average is 25.71 and for the outdoor system 21.48. This represents a difference of 4.23 pigs/sow/year.

The average non-productive feeding day cost per weaned pig for the outdoor system is £1.68 and for the outdoor pig it is £3.83. Putting the cost and the resulting output together based on this particular sample the overall effect is that the non-productive feeding day cost/weaned pig is 2.3 times greater for outdoor production. Viewed from the perspective of the finished slaughter pig with the pig price at for example, £1.40/carcass kilogram, this represents 1.2 kg and 2.7 kg/pig covering lost opportunity or imputed deduction from the P&L accounting, for the indoor and outdoor systems respectively.

The question is how much is this off-set by the differential of the operating cost and what is that differential if there is one?

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