Weaning is a stage that comes after lactation in which the piglets are taken away from their dam and normally proceed to eat only solid food and water. It starts from 3-4 weeks.
Choosing a creep feed that contains complex, highly digestible ingredients and that tastes and smells like sow’s milk helps create eaters by encouraging pigs to eat.
It takes several days for newly-weaned pigs to adjust to their new surroundings and the new supply of water and feed, and feed intake may drop during this crucial time.
Tips of better weaning
1.It all starts with healthy piglets. Healthy piglets will start eating sooner and this is the key to avoid a weaning dip.
2. Comfortable housing. Piglets hate draught and they need warmth; the rooms need to be around 25 degrees Celsius when they are moved to the nursery. The rooms should be cleaned and disinfected. Getting the room dry after cleaning is recommended for the piglets.
3. Keep piglets within the same litter. Research has it that mixing piglets from different litter is a huge risk for diseases, especially around weaning age when they have weak immune systems.
4. Training piglets to eat so that they can eat at the same time. The biggest challenge is getting piglets to eat after farrowing. In order to achieve this, they need to be trained to eat before they start weaning and small and tasty feed must be given to them to attract their appetite.
5. Water and feed is important because this is what piglets are supposed to depend on after farrowing. This should be balanced and clean to protect the piglets from catching diseases.