By Matt Donald, pig & poultry farmer, north Yorkshire
Through Liverpool University we had a veterinary placement student for two weeks at the end of summer. Our details are with the university, so anybody in need of a pig or poultry placement in the area can find us.
This is a great opportunity for us both, we get help on farm at a busy time, as well as another set of eyes and ideas as students come and see how we do things. Equally we like to think we gave our vet student plenty to take away, with both pig and poultry experience, they were able to see theory in practice.
It was a shame to hear how hard it is for vet students to obtain on farm placements, given the industry is short of vets, it’s something every poultry farm should get on board with supporting. Both the student and the farmer will get a lot of benefit from it.
Given current market conditions, we are keeping an eye on egg age all the time, this is the number of days between the egg being laid and placed in the setters. Four days is the optimum and is what we would like, however it is out of our control due to market demand from broiler farms. P D Hook is doing an excellent job of keeping egg flow steady, which is meaning we are seeing brilliant hatch rates still, peaking around 92%.
This week was the first of our NFU poultry board meetings to be held in person. I feel you get so much more out of a meeting when you are there face to face. Online has its place still, especially when meeting with members from every corner of the country, but it is fair to say I am more than ready for in person meetings to start again.