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.
here for more Wean-to-finish information.