- It starts with good preparation
- Ensure piglets access enough water
A crucial stage in the growth and development of pigs, the weaning period can present challenges that need to be dealt with correctly to avoid production issues. Providing a smooth transition from liquid to solid food is key in optimising your growth cycles and making sure your animals meet the average market hog weight. Below we discuss when to wean piglets, and offer some tips on a successful transition.
When to wean piglets
The big decision on when to wean your piglets should be based on both the piglets and the sow. It should be noted that the time to wean is also dependent on the type of pig you are raising. Piglets will give off social indicators that will clue you in as to when to wean. Be on the lookout for the following:
- When piglets are eating and drinking well on their own
- When piglets show independence
- When piglets are not completely dependent on their mother sow
All of the above are tell-tale signs that your piglet is ready to be weaned. Depending on the breed of pig, this can be anywhere from 4-8 weeks of age. If you have a sow that is being severely depleted by a large litter, you can wean the most independent and largest-sized piglets quicker than the rest, preferably not before the four-week mark. The only exception to this is if you feel it is crucial for the health/survival of the sow.