Piglets are weaned from sows at 3 – 4 weeks and transferred to the nursery. Weaners, as they are now called, stay in the nursery section from the time they leave the sow until they are about 10 weeks of age, when they big enough to go into their finisher accommodation.
Piglets are introduced to solid feed before they are weaned to help them transition from milk to their a highly nutritious, grain-based nursery diet. Milk powder and red cordial are favourite flavours and are sometimes used on top of feed to encourage weaners to eat their new diet.
Weaning is a particularly stressful time for a pig as they’re faced with a number of challenges, including a new environment, not having access to sows’ milk and meeting their new pen mates. Weaners are monitored carefully and action taken for those who need a little extra help.
Growing pigs require access to clean fresh water. Drinker nipples where the pigs bite on the nipple and water is released deliver water in grower housing. Stockpeople regularly check the drinkers to ensure the flow rate is maintained at one litre per minute.
- Check all pigs for overall health and welfare
- Ensure feeders are clean and feed can flow easily
- Ensure drinkers are operational and flow rates are at least 1 L/minute
- Flush effluent systems and clean laneways
- Monitor temperature and ventilation and adjust accordingly
- Ensure growers in outdoor systems can access shelter and wallows