DONT FORGET TO CHECK THE WATER IN THE WEANER SECTION
Water is one of the most critical parameters for healthy pig production.
Ensure that the piglets have access to clean water of good quality.
Clean water is characterized by a low content of harmful bacteria, yeast, and mould. At the same time, the water should be soft.
In this post, you can read about what you need to pay particular attention to when it comes to water quality in the weaner section.
If you want more practical advice for zinc-free weaning, you can download your guide for free here.
ACCESS TO WATER
Make sure that all piglets have easy access to water after weaning. Lack of water increases the risk of disease and lowers feed intake.
It can be advantageous to have extra water troughs in the weaner section in the first five days after weaning.
Troughs with bigger water surfaces help to increase water uptake. Some piglets are late learners when it comes to drinking nipples, and supplementing the water supply with a trough helps ensure water access.
Alternatively, or as a supplement, you can pour water onto the feeding plate. When the piglets drink the water, they will typically activate the automatic feeding system and get feed and water simultaneously.
Some piglet producers have good experiences with electrolyte water for the first five days after weaning. It tastes great and increases the piglets’ water uptake. Electrolyte water helps to stabilize the fluid and electrolyte balance in the piglets.
Remember that drinking nipples must be installed at a suitable height. If they sit too high, the pig cannot reach it – if they sit too low, the piglets typically drink with the side of their mouth, and consequently, a lot of water runs out on the other side of the mouth and ends up on the floor.
Check that enough water is coming out of the valves.
Regardless of the type of valves, it should supply 0.5-0.8 litres of water per minute. Place a bucket under the water valve and let the water run for 15 seconds. Then turn it off, and multiply the amount of water in your bucket by 4. Then you have the result for litres of water per minute per valve.
PAY ATTENTION TO HARD WATER
The hardness of water is an expression of the concentration of magnesium and calcium ions in the water.
The concentration is measured in milliequivalents per litre (MEq/litre). The degree of hardness is expressed in German hardness degrees as ºdH.
You can find out the hardness of your water by contacting the local water utility. Get at water analysis, If you have your own borehole, and don’t know the hardness level.
We recommend that hardness should not exceed 8. If it is well above, you should consider setting up a softener.
Limestone (calcium) settles and clogs your pipes. Another major disadvantage of calcium is that it protects the biofilm in your tubes from disinfectants. This means that you cannot clean the pipes for microorganisms – even when using harsh disinfectants. Therefore, cleansing only works for a short time, and unwanted microorganisms return.
A high calcium level can also contribute to poor production results because calcium binds phosphorus in the feed. Phosphorous is needed to ensure proper growth.