SAVE TIME WHEN GROUPING THE PIGS
Planning the weaner section is essential to keep time consumption at a minimum and your efficiency in handling the piglets high. By grouping the pigs, you can quickly adapt the supervision and feeding effort accordingly.
In this post, you can read about what you need to pay particular attention to when you organize the weaner section.
You can download your guide for free if you want more practical advice for zinc-free weaning.
The all-in-all-out principle applies. No pigs are left in the farrowing unit. All piglets born at the same time are weaned at the same time. If you have piglets not yet ready for weaning, you can place them in a so-called climate container.
GROUPING OF PIGS
Weak-born piglets with extra need for warmth and attention are placed in a baby pen or an optimized pen in the middle of the weaner section. Alternatively, in the climate container.
An optimized pen has extra heating via heating lamps in the canopy, a strawboard to keep the heat in or extra curtains on the canopy.
The rest of the piglets are placed together in two to three litter pens. The piglets are divided into sizes, considering that litters from the farrowing section should preferably stay together in the weaning section.
Piglets from gilts have less passive immunity than piglets from multiparous sows and should be grouped.
Piglets from nursing sows are typically weaned a few days before the rest of the herd and should be placed in separate pens.
Piglets from the climate container should also be in separate pens. The piglets typically get a few extra weeks in the climate container before they are introduced to a new herd of piglets – the same size as themselves. My experience is that piglets from the climate container quickly outpace their “new” herd growthwise – The biggest piglets should always be closest to the outer wall.
TEMPERATURE IN THE WEANER SECTION
Pay attention to the behaviour of the pigs during the first days after weaning.
Look through the window before you open the door – that way, you can get an impression of the situation in the weaning section before you enter.
If the section is too warm, the piglets will turn the material in the pen and use the solid floor as a wallowing area.
If it is too cold, the pigs will clump together and lie with their behinds facing the aisle.
Pigs, lying neatly next to each other with their snouts facing the aisle, are comfortable. Avoid controlling for room temperature. Instead, control the temperature below the canopy.
The temperature should be 32°C when the piglets are inserted. Of course, you can turn down the temperature as the pigs grow older.