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Pig Production Course - QQI Level 6

PART 1: Pig Production Workshops

This will consist of 20 one-day workshops in pig production on the following topics

No.TopicContent
1 Pig nutrition
  • Feed ingredients
  • Feed composition: energy, amino acids, minerals vitamins
  • Digestive system and digestion
2 Diet analysis
  • Feed analysis, Diet specifications, Quality control
  • Age and diet type, Diet type and make up
  • Quantities and quality, Ingredients and % inclusion
  • Energy and value for money
3 Herd health control
  • Disease transmission, Health status MD/HH
  • Precautions, Washing and Disinfection
  • Immunity. Vaccination principles and programmes
  • Parasites and Parasite control, Handling and storing medicines. Animal remedies record
4 Gilt management
  • Purchasing gilts, Breeding programme - Hybrids
  • Selection criteria, Replacements rates
  • Feeding selection to service, Oestrus stimulation
5 Serving successfully
  • Reproductive tract,Oestrus and Oestrus detection
  • Artificial insemination,Conception rate
  • Pregnancy loss analysis/ farrowing rate
6. Feeding the breeding herd
  • Sow diets, Pregnancy feeding, Lactation feeding
  • Feeding weaned sows, Sow body condition
7 Keeping accurate records
  • Daily record sheet, Stock counts,Quarterly summary, Data input sheet, Recording on excel spreadsheet
8 Farrowing
  • Pre Farrow feeding, Signs of farrowing, Inducing
  • Provision of heat and bedding , Monitor progress and decide on intervention time, Stillbirths
9 Sow and litter management
  • Fostering, Routine tasks, Milk let down, piglet growth,
  • Minimising piglet losses , Sow feed levels and target intakes , Creep feeding  
10 Diseases of pigs
  • Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of main
  • Respiratory, Enteric, CNS and locomotor diseases
  • Antibiotic use,  In-feed and water medication
11 Pig environment
  • Temperature and requirements, Air speed, Air quality
  • Insulation, Natural ventilation, Air flow patterns
  • Measuring methods, Faults and health / performance
12 Environmental control systems
  • Mechanical ventilation equipment, Setting controllers
  • Minimum ventilation, Band width, Inlet design and area
  • ACNV
13 Health and safety
  • Safety statement, Risks, Risk assessment, Risk management, Legal considerations
14 Weaned pig management
  • Weaning age, Environment, Water, Diets and feed budgets
  • Performance targets, Minimising stress
15 Growing/finishing management
  • Feeding levels, Diets, Feeding systems, Performance targets, Stocking rates
16 Marketing the slaughter pig
  • Selecting pigs for sale, Payment systems
  • Pig handling and transport, Kill Out
17 Protecting the environment
  • Minimising volumes, Fertiliser value
  • Records
18 Analysing herd performance
  • Accurate records, PigSys analysis report
  • Benchmark technical efficiency, Production costs
19 Welfare and quality assurance
  • Quality assurance schemes, Requirements, Salmonella control
20 Home Milling  

Participants will be required to attend 80% of these workshops.

PART 2: Work Experience

  1. Trainees will be required to work full time on one or more pig units approved by Teagasc for the purposes of training for a minimum period of 24 months.
  2. Approved units will be required to participate in the Teagasc PigSys Recording system and provide the trainee with access to all technical production and financial data
  3. All training units will be required to be contract advisory clients of Teagasc Pig Development Unit
  4. Training units will be required to facilitate trainees in the conduct of projects associated with their training
  5. Training units will be required to allow Teagasc personnel to visit trainees on the unit subject to reasonable bio-security precautions for training and trainee assessment purposes.

PART 3: Skills Training

  1. Each training unit is required to nominate one experienced person as the skills trainer for that unit. Their name must be submitted to Teagasc.
  2. Each nominated skills trainer will be required to attend a briefing conducted by Teagasc on training pig skills prior to being approved as a skills trainer.
  3. Trainees may be assessed by independent assessors on the unit on their competence in the various designated skills.
  4. The designated skills in which trainees will be required to be competent include
    NumberPractical Skill
    1 Gilt selection
    2 Vaccination of adult stock
    3 Oestrus detection in sows and gilts
    4 Artificial  Insemination
    5 Mange and worm control
    6 Sow condition assessment
    7 Washing and disinfecting houses
    8 Supervising the farrowing sow
    9 Teeth clipping
    10 Tail docking
    11 Iron injection
    12 Creep feeding
    13 Weaning the sow and litter
    14 Taking pig temperature
    15 Vaccinating piglets
    16 Setting environmental controllers
    17 Operating dry feed equipment
    18 Operating wet feed equipment
    20 Selecting pigs for sale
    21 Handling and moving pigs
    22 Slap marking and ear tagging
  5. Teagasc Pig Development Unit will draft a set of recommended procedures for carrying out the skills listed above/

PART 4: Lectures and Workshops

  1. Trainees will be required to attend and complete modules at a designated centre.
  2. The modules will include the following
    Type*Module CodeModule Title
    M CP13 Soils & the Environment
    M   Course and Career Planning
    M GM64 Communications (NCVA Level 5 Module)
    M GM71 Cash Accounts
    M GM88 Safety on the Farm
    M GM89 Food Assurance, Animal Health & Welfare
    M MM02 Succession and Inheritance
    M MM25 Farm Management Discussion Group
    M MM30 Farm Planning
    O LT02 Animal Health, Welfare & Veterinary Medicines
    O MT01 Safe Use of Pesticide Products
    O MT03 Tractor Driving
    P GM41 Introduction to Computers and IT
    Some of these topics will be covered under the pig training element
  3. These modules may be conducted in conjunction with other participant in Fetac Level 6 training and may involve some evening as well as day sessions.
  4. Minimum attendance requirements apply for these modules in order to qualify for the QQI Level 6 Award

PART 5: Farm Projects

  1. Each trainee will be required to carry out a project (s) on the training unit supervised by Teagasc Pig Development Officer and the unit owner/manager
  2. The topic selected will be agreed between the trainee, the development officer and the unit owner/manager.
  3. Each trainee will be required to write a report on the project and present findings to the training group.
  4. Examples of projects include “weaner growth rate”
  5. Project work has a credit rating of 15.

Further Information: