Weaning is the separation of young piglets also called weaners from their mothers with the aim of stopping them from suckling milk. This could take place between 4 to 6 weeks of their life. At this age, the piglets will eat feed and fend for themselves.
When changing to the weaners ration, for the first few days, some quantity of creep feed is to be mixed in the ration and then gradually reduced until only the weaners ration is now fed.
Early weaning at 3 weeks is possible but requires intensive management and extra care and expensive equipment.
To minimize stress on the piglets, do the following:
Remove the sow but leave the piglets in the pen as this lessens the stress on the young piglets.
If the litter is more than 10 piglets, those that are relatively bigger and heavier should be removed a little earlier, not more than 4 to 5 of them removed while the rest should be allowed on the sow for about 6 days more. This will increase the weight of the smaller piglets
Stocking density at weaning should be high to promote warmth but should not be overcrowded as they will struggle and fight for feed causing a reduction in growth rate and a reduction in weight gain of the weaker ones.
After one week, deworm the piglets and move them to the fattening pen. The sow will come on heat again 2 to 7 days after weaning.
In conclusion, proper management of each class of pigs on the farm is essential for the profitability of the herd. The farmer must make every effort to ensure that the well-being and productivity of his animals are achieved.
Consideration for management of pigs includes;
a) stockman ship which refers to the relationship between the farmer and his pigs.
b) Handling and restraint: The necessity of restraint arises because, unfortunately, all the animals do not reciprocate your love for them.
c) Hygiene: This is one of the important aspects of pig farming to prevent infection and ensure success and profitability.
Read Also: Guide to Proper Management of Piglets
Boars are selected following performance testing to ensure the efficient performance of their offspring. This include, a faster growth rate than average with less back fat than average, It has utilized its feed more efficiently as a result of producing less fat, must have two equally sized and firmly suspended testicles, and good sexual libido also good conformation, strong straight feet, and good temperament.
A boar should not start serving until he is over eight months of age; and during the first two months of service, only twice per week. Subsequently, he can be used for up to six services per week.
Overworking a boar will reduce the quality f the sperm produced, leading to small litters and an increased number of sows returning to service. The standard recommendation is one boar to 20 sows and gilts.
Piglets should be provided with warmth in the form of beddings made up of wood shavings or hay. In humid areas, they should be put in a well-ventilated pen. Farmers should make sure their piglets have taken colostrums ‘the first milk’ which is rich in various nutrients and antibodies except for iron and copper.
Young piglets from 10 days onwards should have a high protein diet available to them. This has to be fed in a small creep (creep feeding) or an area where the mother cannot eat the feed.
Weaning is the separation of a young piglet from its mother with the aim of stopping them from suckling milk. This could take place between 4 to 6 weeks of their life. At this age, the piglets will eat feed and fend for themselves.
By the 8-9 weeks of age, the growing pig is over the stress of weaning, and its digestive system will be competent to deal with a range of protein and energy sources some 80% of the food used in a pig unit is consumed by the growing and finishing pigs, therefore the efficiency of food utilization during this phase is a crucial factor affecting profitability.