BPEX blog

Friday, 13 April 2012

What pigs can tell us

Pigs are inquisitive, social and have a better sense of smell than dogs. They also have a highly sensitive sense of taste. The things we know about pigs and their behaviour can be used to the stockman’s advantage when managing pigs at weaning.
Trainees on the Stockman North training programme learned more from vet Duncan Berkshire about how to get good early growth and quick growing pigs.
Trainees imagined, firstly, that they were suckling pigs. The sow and farrowing environment provided them with milk and warmth, protection (physical and immune), a hierarchy within the litter, family, social interaction and group feeding. It’s important to make the transition to weaner accommodation as smooth as possible and continue to provide these things as far as possible.
Post-weaning, feed and water and heat are priorities. Meals should be small and frequent. And water is vital, as Mark and Jack found during a competition to see who could eat biscuits the quickest!
Pigs behaviour will tell you whether they’re the right temperature or not. Read what the pigs are telling you, as well as the ventilation or temperature control dial.

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