Weaning piglets; 7 tips for a successful weaning moment

Preparing piglets for weaning is a crucial step in their further development. For optimal results directly after weaning, there are some (practical) tips.

7 important weaning tips for piglets

Did you know that, to get the best results, at the moment of weaning it helps to:

1. Start with a clean environment

The immunity that a piglet receives from the sow slowly decreases during the lactation period and a piglet its immunity increases. At the time of weaning, the piglets get a dip in immunity, so it is important to start with a clean environment after weaning.
Provide a clean, warm, and comfortable environment for the piglets. Remove all the dirt and clean the pens roughly. It is also recommended to disinfect the pens. After disinfecting the pens rinse the pens with water so that the piglets do not come into contact with lagging disinfectant. After rinsing, it is essential to let the room dry out, as low humidity is at least as important as high temperature. Allow the room to dry as long as possible, consider a minimum of 24 hours.
Between each batch of animals, the water system must be washed and disinfected. This will help us to reduce the biofilm form inside the water pipes which creates an ideal environment for bacteria growth.
Once the water system is clean, confirm nipple drinkers are correctly working before new piglets come to the room, nipple drinkers can get blocked during cleaning

2. Ensure a correct climate in the stables

A correct climate ensures a successful weaning moment. That is why it is important to bring the department/ pen to the right temperature just before weaning. The advised temperature, for a semi-slatted floor, is a minimum temperature of 28 °C, and for a full-slatted floor minimum of 30 °C. When the piglets are at the moment of weaning lighter than 7 kg, it is advised to increase the temperature.

3. Have fresh piglet feed available

Ensure that the piglets at the time of weaning have the availability for fresh feed. In addition, provide the piglets after weaning a prestarter. Feeding a prestarter up to a few days after weaning leads to higher weaning weights and higher feed intake after weaning.

4. Ensure access to clean water

After weaning there is no more milk from the sow available for the piglets, this is about a liter per piglet, which consists of 80% water. Water intake after weaning is therefore very important. Piglets should have access to clean and fresh water at all times, even before weaning. Giving them early access to water helps them to stay hydrated and promotes healthy digestion.

5. Minimize stress

Avoid sudden changes in the piglets’ environment. Handle them gently, move the piglets calmly to their new pens, and do not give them unnecessary stress. Stress can weaken their immune systems and make them more susceptible to health problems. A calm and stable environment promotes successful weaning.

6. Avoid mixing

Within a weaning group, there are often different ages and weights. The advice is to mix as little as possible and to collect the different weaning ages in separate groups. This way you can support the smallest piglets, if necessary.
If mixing must be done, make sure to do it while keeping animals with similar weight development together

7. Leave the light in the stable on for the first 24 hours

For a good start after weaning, we recommend leaving the light on for the first 24 hours, so that the piglets can find the drink and feed troughs well. You can then switch to the day and night rhythm.

Ready to turn the moment of weaning into a roaring success at your pig farm? Look no further! Get in touch with us now and let’s make it happen!

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