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Optimising liquid feeding for increased growth and improved feed efficiency in grow-finisher pigs Ref:2016042

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G Gardiner
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Up to 70% of Irish pigs are liquid-fed. However, many producers still use excessive water:meal ratios, thereby negatively impacting feed efficiency and increasing the volume of manure produced. Huge variations in feeding curves, system hygiene and number/timing of meals also exist. These too can have a major impact on pig growth and feed efficiency. Therefore, the potential to improve productivity via optimisation of liquid feeding systems cannot be ignored.
The PhD tasks will comprise: 1. a review of the literature on liquid feeding of pigs, 2. establishment of optimum water:meal ratio in grow-finisher pigs, 3. establishment of optimum feeding curve for grow-finisher pigs, 4. establishment of optimum number and timing of meals for grow-finisher pigs, 5. determining optimum system hygiene routines for liquid feeding systems and microbiota profiling of feed and liquid-fed grow-finisher pigs and 6. a comparison of optimised liquid feeding operation with dry feeding from different feeders.
The PhD Fellowship is a joint research project between Teagasc, Pig Development Department, The Dept. of Science, Waterford Institute of Technology and the School of Agriculture & Food Science, University College Dublin. The student will be based, in the first instance, at Teagasc, Moorepark, Co. Cork and will be registered at Waterford institute of Technology, working under the supervision of Dr Gillian Gardiner in association with Teagasc supervisor, Dr Peadar Lawlor and University College Dublin supervisor Prof John O’Doherty. Periods of laboratory work will be undertaken at Waterford Institute of Technology and University College Dublin. The Fellowship will commence on 1st of October when the most suitable candidate is appointed.
The fellowship provides a stipend of €22,000. College fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for 4 years.
Further Information/Applications
Dr. Gillian Gardiner Waterford Institute of Technology
Phone +353 (0)51 302626 email: ggardiner@wit.ie
Application Procedure
Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to:
Dr. Peadar Lawlor (peadar.lawlor@teagasc.ie),
Prof. John O’Doherty (John.vodoherty@ucd.ie) and
Dr. Gillian Gardiner (GGARDINER@wit.ie)

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Agricultural Science, Animal Science, Animal Nutrition or related discipline). The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work and feeding studies with pigs. Experience in pig production is also desirable. A full EU driving licence is also required.

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