PIGS, HAMPSHIRE: Flavian has recently (November 2021) started a new role, working on a mixed farm in Hampshire with pigs, sheep, beef, arable and a farm shop. He manages 130-sow (female pigs) from farrow to finish, the piglets are born outside and stay outdoors until they’re 30kg, then they get moved indoors. The pigs are RSPCA Freedom Foods accredited.
Prior to this he managed a 130-sow (female pigs) indoor pig unit, consisting of predominantly Large White x Landrace and a few Large White x Welsh breeds in Plumpton, East Sussex.
The farm bought in replacement gilts (young female pigs) and bred some of its own. The sows were grouped to batch farrow (give birth) every two weeks. The piglets were then weaned at five weeks old and reared until they are around five months old, when they were sent off to enter the food chain.
The sows were housed in straw yards for most of their lives but go into farrowing (birthing) crates for five weeks during lactation (milking). This is to prevent the sow from lying on her piglets while they are young.
Flavian came into farming almost by accident. Having moved to the UK at 15 from Kenya, he planned to go to university to study veterinary medicine, but after not achieving the grades required, he took a year out after his A-Levels to work before heading off to study a degree in Animal Management. After completing a week’s placement on a farm, he was offered a job there and ended up working there for his gap year. He hasn’t looked back since.
He takes enormous job satisfaction from looking after animals. For him, seeing an animal born and following it through to sale is a feeling that never gets old. This, alongside working outdoors, the lifestyle and access to locally produced, traceable, fresh meat are his favourite things about farming.
Through social media Flavian hopes to share his real farming experiences with members of the public.
Flavian is keen to attract young people into agriculture and to reduce the average age of farmers. Working at Plumpton College, he’s seen first-hand how difficult it is to keep young people interested in agriculture, and feels general life skills and “farm to fork” should be taught to young people from primary school age. This would help them appreciate the source of their food and life skills would help them when they start working.
Member of National Pig Association and Young National Pig Association.
Featured in articles for Farmers Weekly, Pig World, Farmers Guardian, Mid Sussex Times, South East Farmer, Sussex Life, Farmers Guide, NFU Student Farmer. Has been on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Berkshire, BBC Sussex & Surrey, Farmers Weekly podcast, Flat White Chats podcast, Black Lives Living podcast, Rock & Roll Farming podcast, Pub Yields podcast and was on the Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer TV show. He has also taken over Instagram accounts for the Yellow Wellies Foundation and Agri App to show a day on a pig farm.