When should piglets be separated?

In commercial pig production systems, piglets are frequently removed from their mothers when they are less than 4 weeks of age, although in some welfare friendly systems, such as organic farming, they are frequently left with their mothers until they are 8 weeks. Sows often stand, turn, and sniff the first piglets born ; but this behavior declines as more piglets are farrowed. Sows do not get up to help the piglets from their membranes. The umbilical cord is normally torn when the piglet moves around to the udder.



How long is too long between piglets?

Most piglets are delivered every 15-20 minutes, but can occur faster or slower. If the interval between piglets is longer than 30-45 minutes, then the sow or gilt needs to be evaluated to see if she is having difficulty having her piglets.

Why do piglets need to be separated?

It was hypothesised that piglets subjected to IS (8 h separation per day for 7 d) would show better growth, higher feed intake, reduced negative behaviour patterns and reduced blood markers of inflammation, stress and lipid mobilisation supporting an increase in more feed directed behaviours before and after weaning.

What age should piglets be weaned?

Most piglets are weaned between three and four weeks of age, which is very soon after birth, but until now the most economical solution.

How long do piglets stay with their mothers?

These piglets stay with their mothers from 6 up to 8 weeks. After that, they’re slowly weaned away from their mothers. Piglets must not be taken away from mothers before this time because the mortality rate is high.

When is it time to wean a piglet?

Once our piglets start to become more precocious, we begin thinking about when it’s time to wean them. Although many commercial hog farmers begin weaning piglets this early, it’s not the right choice for our pigs and we know that they still have a few weeks to go.

Will the sow or boar turn on the piglets?

We have been fortunate, in our pig raising, that we have not had an aggressive sow or boar turn on the piglets. It’s a bit unusual but we have been able to raise the piglets with both the sow and our boar remaining together.

What happens if you separate piglets from one litter?

This will allow your piglets to develop more body fat to keep them warm. Another mistake is trying to separate piglets from one litter – or worse, mixing them with piglets from separate litters. Keep piglets of the same litter together to minimize stress. Don’t mix, because this can increase the likelihood of diseases.

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