3.2.2 Changing pens Changing pens means transferring a litter or group of pigs from one type of pen to another, from birth to weaning or slaughter stage. If pens are changed only twice, there already is a saving of 31%. When changing pens, the following needs to be kept in mind: It has a stressful influence on pigs because the unfamiliar surroundings of the new pen could debilitate the growth rate, as well as feed utilization. More than two pen changes are not advised because the saving on floor space does not merit the negative influence the changing of pens has on the growth rate and feed utilization. Because the pigs are handled regularly and the pens have to be disinfected, pen changing requires more labour costs. Pigs housed in a single pen system show about 2% better growth rate and 13% more efficient feed utilization than pigs that change pens in the normal fashion. The boar should be kept separately in a pen with a minimum floor area of 7,0 m². However, if the pen is to be used for servicing purposes, a minimum floor area of 9,3 m² is required, with the shortest side not shorter than 2,1 m. This is necessary so that the boar may easily turn around in his pen. As soon as the sow has been served and does not want to stay with the boar any longer, she is moved to an individual pen close to the boar pen. An alternative is to follow the same construction as in Figure 5.2A, but to leave out the gates that link the boar pen with adjoining pens. For individual feeding, the sows are placed in pens of about 1,8 m² adjacent to the boar pen. Figure 5.2A: Sow and boar – House 2 Figure 5.2B: Cross-section of sow and boar pens – House 2 Figure 5.2C: Cross-section of boar pen – House 2 17 Institute for Agricultural Engineering 5.3 Dry sow and dry sow housing For a period of about one month after weaning her litter, and for about two weeks before she farrows, the housing, feeding and management of the dry sow go through a critical phase. Very good results are obtained by using the two alternative Holderness type pens as shown in Figures 5.4A and 5.4B. The sloped sides, which force the piglets to defecate on the slatted floor, are typical of these pens. Figure 5.4A: Farrowing pen Figure 5.4B: Cross-section of Holderness type farrowing pen Figure 5.5A: Farrowing pen 21 Institute for Agricultural Engineering Figure 5.5B: Cross-section of a rectangular farrowing pen Sows should be placed in disinfected farrowing pens one week before farrowing to allow time for adjustment to the new surroundings. If a pen is occupied for five weeks and cleaned for one week, a building with six sets of pens, each containing six pens, therefore altogether 36 pens, is required. 6.3 Facilities for weaning sows Management system After the sow has weaned her litter, she is kept in a single sow pen near the pen of the boar that has to service her, for at least 35 days, or in a group pen designed for weaning sows. Needed One sow pen is therefore sufficient for: 365 81 = 4,51 sows 100 sows therefore need: 100 4,51 = 22,2 pens, approximately 22 pens Recommendations Rather make provision for 25 single sow pens, that is five sow pens per working boar pen, or alternatively, 30 single sow pens, six per boar pen.
Birth Weight & Age of Pigs 1) Birth weight & survival rate: a) Pigs weighing 3 to 3½ lb or more at birth have a better chance of survival! b) Smaller pigs have a higher “Surface area” relative to body weight, and do not compete well for milk. Present at Farrowing to: A. Assist sows if necessary, B. remove mucus from pigs, C. wipe pigs dry, D. place pigs under the zone heat, E. assist pigs in nursing … , etc. Make Sure Pigs Receive Colostrum A. Pigs are born with a very little disease resistance. B. The first dose should be colostrum from the sow or stored: Effects of dosing pigs with a 15-ml of milk replacer once or twice/day for 7 days: 44444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444 Item Control Supplemented No. of pigs No. surviving Survival, % 69 34 49 69 51 74 L can save more pigs, but labor intensive! C. Additional benefits of milk replacers: 1) Sows with large litters, i.e., nursing more pigs than the No. of functional nipples. i.e., for orphan pigs and(or) fostered pigs. B. Transfer “Larger pigs” within 2-3 days. L Unsanitary conditions predispose baby pigs to various health problems! B. “Raised crates/floors” – Data from commercial operations indicate 24% lower death loss and 0.4 more pigs/litter by using raised crates/floors! 8. Fats/Oils to Sows During Late Gestation – Can increase body reserves of baby pigs, and also improve the quality of milk. Growth Rate of Pigs and Milk Production: L The Bottom Line? 1) Piglets grow linearly after birth, the nutrient requirement also 8 linearly! 2) Milk production peaks at 3rd or 4th week and starts to decline thereafter. Creep Feeding & Post-Weaning Scours A. Creep feed may cause scours because of allergic reactions/hyper sensitivity because of some proteins & carbohydrates in soybean meal – Considerable variations among individuals on adverse effects & also may depends on the type of creep feed! B. To avoid such problems and benefit pigs, pigs should consume > 400 grams of creep feed before weaning. 2) If it’s not possible to keep various fresh ingredients, probably better to buy a complete diet or a base mix containing several special ingredients – More cost effective?! BABY PIG ANEMIA L Two major problems in nursing piglets are: baby pig anemia & baby pig scours! 1. Why is Iron so Important for Pigs? A. Low body storage in the newborn pig: 1) Pigs are born with only 40 to 50 mg of Fe. 2) Need 7 to 16 mg of absorbed Fe/day, “Deplete” body stores very quickly! B. Low iron content of colostrum and milk: 1) Fe content of colostrum – 2 ppm. Introduction A. A general intestinal disorder of newborn pigs, and also known as “White Scours.” B. Prevalent during the suckling period. B. Good nutritional and health programs for the breeding herd, which can lead to the production of vigorous pigs & good milk production. C. Good management of baby pigs such as: 1) Make sure pigs receive colostrum, 2) Use a supplemental heater, hover, creep box & others to avoid chilling, 3) Be sure to give supplemental iron, 4) Minimize stress during processing, etc.