Could you reduce piglet handling?

Livestock Posted 24/07/20
Pig farmers could save up to half a day’s work each month and dramatically improve piglet welfare by combining iron and coccidiosis treatments in the early days.

Fraser Claughton, Bayer commercial manager, explains that the pre-weaning period is critical. Piglets are extremely vulnerable to environmental stress factors which can have a major impact on their performance, even impacting mortality rates.

“Saving handling time on routine practices can also provide more opportunity to carry out tasks that require more attention to detail, such as split suckling, which can lead to improved weaning weights from better colostrum intake, for example,” he says.

But Fraser explains that saving time is not the only benefit of combining treatments. “It’s well known that handling young piglets causes stress, so any reduction in human contact will make an important contribution to improved overall wellbeing.”

To reap the time saving and welfare benefits, Baycox® Iron Injection is recommended as an alternative to the traditional approach of a coccidiosis drench and separate iron treatments.

However, it is worth noting that successful coccidiosis treatments are all about timing, as it is important for piglets to have some exposure to the disease. This allows them to build some natural immunity, while the treatment prevents sub clinical early symptoms that lead to poor performance and low weaning weights from the consequent damage seen in the gut.

“Therefore, we generally recommend administering the product when piglets are two to three days old at the same time as other tasks such as vaccinating to keep handling occurrences to a bare minimum but it’s best discussed with your vet,” says Fraser.

Picture ©Tim Scrivener


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