Housing system for sow and piglets for better health and production

Girin Kalita and Kalyan Sarma
Contd from previous issue
On the other hand when piglets are weaned, they are deprived of the nutrition and immune protection they got from milk while sucking. Usually weaned piglets are removed from farrowing pen and reared in weaner pen. When they are removed to a new pen, they also exposed new surrounding and new set of microorganisms. Piglets when separated from mother and sometime mixed other litters they also suffer from social stress. Combining all above factors, weaning is one of the most stressful event in piglet’s life. When any animal suffers from stress, there immune system become weak and predisposing the animals to disease condition. Therefore, keeping the weaner pig in a clean and thermos comfort environment is of utmost important. Like suckling piglets, they may also require brooding when environmental temperature is below the comfort zone. By keeping them warm is of great help to withstand the weaning stress. Otherwise, low microclimatic temperature will further aggravate the stress leading to disease condition. Like farrowing pen as mentioned earlier, slatted floor instead of solid floor will immensely helpful to keep the weaner pen dry and clean. If plastic slates are not available iron or wooden slates can be used for weaner pen.
The weaner cage (batter)
In this system, piglets are moved into the cage immediately at weaning. The case consists of a floor of metal slats and mostly metal or wooden partitions (0.06 m high). The dimensions are about 1.50 x 120/150 m. The floor is raised (0.60 m above the floor level). This system has been proving to be successful as it helps to keep the weaners dry and in a draught free place which is very important to avoid post weaning stress and infections.
Feeding and watering system
Feeding trough of the lactating sow may be raised from the floor in such a way that piglets have less chance to access it. Sow feed cannot be digested by young pigs and consumption of sow feed may upset their digestive system. As mentioned earlier, piglets may start eating behaviour as early as 2nd week of age, there should be a provision of feeding system in creep area at least from 3rd week onwards. Normally watering system should be placed near the dunging area. Splashing of water near lying area might lower the temperature in creep area may make the lying area very dirty. Drinking water should be clean and therefore, placing of open water trough in dunging area might get contaminated with faeces and urine. It is therefore, nipple watering system is better than open round type water trough.
For commercial pig farming, modern hygienic housing structures are highly essential. Unfortunately, in India, manufacturers of such items are not available and have to be imported from other countries through few suppliers, which resulted in higher cost. Hopefully in due course of time, with the active participation of entrepreneur, such modern housing items will be produced in India at cheaper rate.
The writers are from College of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry Central Agricultural University Selesih, Aizawl, Mizoram
For further details contact: -
Public Relations & Media Management Cell,
CAU, Imphal. Email: [email protected]