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Managing a pig herd SAPPO Training Course. Introduction Each age group/development stage has special management requirements to stay healthy and produce.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing a pig herd SAPPO Training Course. Introduction Each age group/development stage has special management requirements to stay healthy and produce."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing a pig herd SAPPO Training Course

2 Introduction Each age group/development stage has special management requirements to stay healthy and produce well Breeding stock Breeding stock Breeding gilts Pregnant and lactating sows Boars Young stock from birth to point of sale Young stock from birth to point of sale Piglets before and after weaning Weaners and growers

3 Breeding stock Their wellbeing and continued high production depends on Housing Housing Nutrition Nutrition Good breeding management (service, farrowing) Good breeding management (service, farrowing) Health care (vaccination, parasite control) Health care (vaccination, parasite control)

4 Introducing gilts Gilts are usually selected when they are 4-6 months old At 6-7 months, vaccinate for E. coli and erysipelas, leptospirosis, parvovirus, with a booster 4-6 weeks later for both vaccines Treat for mange and worms Feed ad lib until served Put them in a pen next to a mature boar to stimulate them to come on heat Breed at 7-8 months, modern breeds should weigh at least 120 kg at service

5 Breeding gilts and sows Females come on heat every 3 weeks When on heat they will stand firm to hand pressure on the middle of the back Females are taken to the boar for service Observe mating – the boar should remain mounted and ejaculating for at least 5 minutes Remove sow after service and repeat 12 and 24 hours later – can use a different boar if available to get larger litters

6 Breeding sows Sow on heat stands firm to pressure Normal mating

7 Pregnant sows Pregnancy lasts about 115 days Observe served sows for signs of heat especially about 3 weeks after first service, and repeat service if necessary Vaccinate with E. coli 2-3 weeks before farrowing date and treat for worms, lice and mange

8 Pregnant sows Check for constipation – straining, small hard faeces or none Feed green feed and wet bran to prevent or correct constipation

9 Farrowing Put sow into farrowing pen about a week before due date and supply lots of bedding Stand by during farrowing to help if needed but do not interfere if process is normal – piglets born 1-2 at a time at about minute intervals Do not break the umbilical cord Can rub and dry piglets and remove membranes from face Foster the bigger piglets from large litters with sows with smaller litters if necessary

10 Farrowing Unsupervised farrowing can lead to losses

11 During lactation Increase the sows feed to 2-3 times the normal amount, observe for weight loss and give more if necessary Feed at least 3 times a day to prevent excessive intake at any one time Ensure that unlimited water is available, lactating sows can drink at least 30 litres per day Wean piglets at 4-6 weeks Sow can be served at first heat after weaning if she is in good condition

12 During lactation Sow should not appear thin as piglets grow – the sow in the picture at the bottom is much too thin

13 Managing the boar Treat at least 4 times a year for mange, lice and worms Breed from about 10 months of age Let him serve a quiet sow first if possible Do not overwork – not more than 3-4 services per week Cull when lame, overweight, or not siring good litters Avoid boar serving own daughters as it leads to inbreeding

14 Managing the boar A good boar is a valuable asset

15 Care of piglets Most piglet deaths occur in the first 3 days of life Major causes are cold, starvation, accidents Supply a warm creep area Supply a warm creep area Make sure that the piglets are suckling well Make sure that the piglets are suckling well Provide a farrowing rail or deep straw to enable the piglets to get away from the sow so that she will not accidentally lie on them Provide a farrowing rail or deep straw to enable the piglets to get away from the sow so that she will not accidentally lie on them

16 Creep area

17 Deep bedding Deep bedding provides warmth and protection

18 Care of piglets Piglets may also die as a result of infectious diseases or birth defects Ensure good hygiene in the farrowing pen Ensure good hygiene in the farrowing pen Disinfect the navel and feet with iodine on the day of birth Disinfect the navel and feet with iodine on the day of birth Vaccinate and treat the sow for parasites as described before Vaccinate and treat the sow for parasites as described before Make sure that the piglets suckle as soon as possible to take in colostrum Make sure that the piglets suckle as soon as possible to take in colostrum Avoid inbreeding Avoid inbreeding

19 Suckling Piglets and sow should be calm and happy Piglets not suckling and hard red teats = mastitis

20 Procedures Injection with iron Castration

21 Tattooing Pigs are tattooed at weaning

22 Care of weaners Wean at 4-6 weeks by removing sow and leaving piglets in farrowing pen for 3-5 days Feed small amounts of weaner feed from 10 days before weaning Restrict feed for 1-2 days after weaning to prevent over-eating; give wet feed After that feed ad lib, water always available Good food, good hygiene, good health management and timely treatment if necessary are the keys to success with weaners and growers

23 Mixing litters If possible mix piglets of the same size, age, sex To prevent excessive fighting Provide enough space for them to move apart Provide enough space for them to move apart Make sure there is plenty of space at the feeder Make sure there is plenty of space at the feeder Provide toys – pieces of old motor tyres, sacking, branches – to occupy them Provide toys – pieces of old motor tyres, sacking, branches – to occupy them

24 Any questions?


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