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Weaners and finishing pigs

78. Pigs are often weaned into field-based systems and for some markets it is a requirement for pigs to 30 to 40 kg liveweight. Outdoor finishing of pigs on a commercial basis is rare.

79. Newly weaned pigs are particularly susceptible to chilling, so huts should be designed and managed to minimise the effects of extremes of temperature. They should be insulated and be provided with ample straw bedding. Good management of ventilation openings is essential to control the degree of heat loss from the huts according to the ambient conditions.

80. In order to prevent the risk of disease transfer, weaner huts should be moved onto a clean site between batches. Straw should be provided in the dunging area to avoid the piglets getting wet and chilled. If conditions become very wet, the huts should be moved to a clean site.

81. As weaners are generally kept in large groups, it is important to provide ample lying area in the huts to avoid competition for space. In addition, adequate provision of feed and water should be made including plans for getting supplies to the huts in bad weather.

82. Where finishing pigs are kept outdoors, accommodation should be provided that allows adequate space and access to feed and water, including plans for getting supplies to pigs in bad weather. It should also protect pigs from extremes of temperature by providing a dry, draught-free, well-bedded lying area and shade and wallows. Suitable handling facilities for moving pigs from the pens without causing them undue stress should be provided.

83. Suitable hospital pens should be provided for ill or injured pigs. These should provide conditions where competition for space, feed and water is significantly reduced (see paragraph 106).