Danish bacon: what happens when you push pigs to the limit?
Last year, Ole Kjaer was the number one pig farmer in Denmark. Unsurprisingly, in the land of Danish bacon, this is a pretty hotly contested award.
The biggest factor in his high profit rate? The astonishing productivity of his pigs. Each of Kjaer’s sows produces an average of 41 piglets a year.
In the UK, the average sow produces 25.8 pigs a year. In the US that number rises to 26.4. But in Denmark, the world’s laboratory for industrial pig farming, the average sow produces 33.3 piglets – and some farmers, like Kjaer, manage to push that figure even higher. Some believe that one day they could even reach the magic number of 50.