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Progressive Pork

Winter 1998
 
Wean-to-finish Management Tips from Dr. Joe Connor
  Dr. Joe
Conner


Dr. Joe Connor, Carthage (IL) Veterinary Service, consults with producers using and converting to wean-to-finish systems. He offers these management suggestions:

  • Start with the proper environment. Facilities should be adequately ventilated using either natural or tunnel ventilation. Zone heating from radiant systems or heat lamps should be regulated to provide an ideal zone temperature of 85' Fahrenheit, with room temperatures maintained at 75' while pigs are small. Room temperatures can be backed down to 65' when pigs near finishing. Flooring can be concrete slats with one inch slots. Some producers have installed plastic flooring for added comfort.
     
  • Place plastic or rubber comfort mats in pens for one or two weeks after loading. Feed starter pellets two to three times daily on mats using two parts water to one part pellets.
     
  • Use dry finishing feeders with solid dividers. Trough lip should be low enough that little pigs can have adequate access to feed. Wider feed spaces allow two or three pigs to group together at feeding.
     
  • Install one cup waterer per 20 pigs. Cup waterers work well because little pigs are drawn to the small amount of fresh water that remains in the cup after use.
     
  • Practice good nutrition management that incorporates phase feeding. Consider growth charting as a tool to aid in ration formulation.

Click here for more Wean-to-finish information.

 

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