Piggery’s $5m facelift

Rueben HaleThe West Australian
Wannamal pig amd cattle farmers Annette and Errol Howard, piggery attendant Acacia Shannon and piggery manager Brenden Howard, with some three-week-old piglets.
Camera IconWannamal pig amd cattle farmers Annette and Errol Howard, piggery attendant Acacia Shannon and piggery manager Brenden Howard, with some three-week-old piglets.

The Howard family of Kamarah Piggery in Wannamal are working long days before Christmas to complete their $5 million farm expansion.

Part-owner Brenden Howard, who runs the piggery with wife Ashlee and parents Annette and Errol, has been racing to install 24 Dome-Shelter post-mounted ag-shelters, custom designed for piggery grow-out, and three sheds.

The sheds are for the final 10-week period before sale, in which the pigs are gender separated, animals nutritionally increased and males chemically castrated, for the finishing stage of rapid lean weight gain.

It has been a story of growth for the Howards, who started as a 10-15 sow piggery in 1986 to today being on the verge of housing 22,000 pigs and selling about 1800 animals a fortnight.

“A couple of years after starting, we’d built numbers up to about 75 sows,” Mr Howard said.

“In 1996, we constructed eight grower sheds to supply Watsonia (George Weston Foods). From 2000 to 2001, we erected 18 DomeShelters to take pigs at three weeks of age from Wandalup Farms at Mandurah. We continued to be supplied pigs from Wandalup until Craig Mostyn Farms took over, renaming it Nambeelup.

“This continued until moving to Westpork five years ago.”

Mr Howard said the positive relationship with Westpork had driven the farm expansion.

“With Westpork, we have already increased our numbers by about 1000 pig places to 9000,” he said. “The new shelters and sheds are fitted with the latest auto-sort technology, so workers don’t have to be weighing pigs.”

Mr Howard said after some delays, it was full-steam ahead.

“We’re now hopeful the huts will be done and dusted before we have our family lunch on Christmas day,” he said.

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