Rear healthy productive pigs that will give you good income

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Every new born baby requires good care for their comfort. They require nice warm rooms, clean beds to sleep, clean nappies every few hours, milk to feed on whenever they need it. The same applies to piglets. In order to maximize performance of piglets for successful weaning, it is important to note and adhere to the following tips.

Start with healthy piglets

Healthy piglets start eating earlier than the sick ones and this is an important factor to note if you want to avoid weaning problems. Most piglet problems may be due to dirty farrowing rooms and therefore it is important to ensure that the farrowing rooms are cleaned. Other piglet problems could be caused by inadequate milk production by the sow, lack of uniformity of piglets at birth and disease causing bacteria such as E. coli. It is important to note that the problems that start early in the piglets are hard to control later on.

Comfortable housing

Piglets are sensitive to strong wind and they need warmth, as such, the temperature in rearing rooms for piglets should be 25°C. The nursery rooms should be cleaned, disinfected and dried in advance before the piglets are moved inside. Piglets utilize a lot of energy to maintain their body temperature. Keeping piglets in wet and cold rooms is a major risk to their health and should be avoided.

Keep piglets from the same mother together

Mixing piglets from different litters is a major risk factor to diseases like Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia and Streptococcus suis. This problem is more common in piglets at weaning when their immune system is not fully developed and their protection from maternal antibodies decreasing. Therefore, avoid mixing piglets from different litters in the nursery because this may enhance spreading of diseases through the rooms.

Train piglets to eat

It is a big challenge to get the piglets to eat soon after weaning. It is important to start training the piglets before weaning. Introduce tasty and fresh feed in small portions from the second week of life. This would enable the piglets to start feeding from the feed containers so that soon after weaning, they can easily find the new source of feed. Do not change the nursery feed immediately after weaning but ensure a gradual change of feed to avoid piglets refusing to eat.

The feed containers should provide enough eating space for all the piglets to allow them to eat all at the same time. This would enable slow piglets to learn from the fast learners.

Clean water and feed hygiene

Piglets are very susceptible to infections after weaning. It is important to reduce the risk of contact with pathogens immediately after weaning. Reducing the amount of pathogens in drinking water and feed is a good starting point. However, it should be noted that there are more ways to get oral infection such as through contaminated droppings and other pigs. Such oral infections should as well be avoided. Use of organic acid based solutions in drinking water and feed would reduce the risk of oral infections in piglets. The use of organic acid based solutions would kill the pathogens in feed, water and in the stomach of piglets. This is a common cost effective way to enhance the performance of piglets.

>>Share your experiences with TOF and fellow farmers. Send email to admin@theorganicfarmer.org

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