NOVEMBER 2018 www.irishfarmersmonthly.com Pig Focus there a way of improving this? Something as simple as moving a creep dish away from the back end of the sow to cleaner area of the pen will increase creep intakes straight away. Pigs that are weaned at 28 days of age can have intakes of around 500g per pig. Intakes like this will help the piglets gut get ready for weaning and reduce stress and scour. We need to get our piglets more ready for weaning and pay more attention to our piglets in the farrowing rooms. A step-by-step approach needs to be taken with phasing out zinc. So there is no influence on animal welfare concerning diarrhoea or other diseases. Continue to have a low and responsible use of antibiotics. Every farm will have different goals and a different approach. Just because something works on one farm doesn’t mean it is going to work on another which is frustrating. There are too many differentiating factors between farms, but you need to focus on the end goal and be patient. It will take time to become Zinc free. We have time, but we need to put a plan in place now and tailor it to suit individual farms and start these small steps to overcoming the big challenges. Every farm will have a different goal, some farms might have low Zinc usage but need to improve growth rate. The important thing is take it step by step, taking Zinc out completely tomorrow won’t work but working on the elements outlined here and making some of those small changes will get you closer up the ladder to being Zinc Oxide free. ago I’ve only been asked “how long are you pig free?” twice. It is important to get the message out there. We all say it’s the smallest of things that have the biggest of impacts on our farms. Management plays a key role in improving your health status on farm which will help overcome the challenges. Fostering and moving pigs is one point. Are you leaving pigs to suckle for long enough so that they are getting even colostrum from their own mother before fostering them? If you want to reduce Zinc, improving the natural immune system of your young pigs is vital and making sure they get enough colostrum at birth is the best start. After fostering when piglets are seen as falling back we tend to take them off and move to another litter but the next person who comes into the farrowing room sees the same piglet and moves it again. By end of the week that one piglet could be moved four times. Carrying a marker and putting small mark on top of a piglet’s head that is moved after fostering will identify that piglet as a moved piglet and stop the next person from moving it again. Reducing stress at weaning by adding environmental enrichments such as toys or even anything that’s for recycling such as carboard and paper can help keep pigs active and distracted at weaning. At serving are you using the same boar all the time? Using a different boar for the second mating will help sows stand better. Selecting sows for breeding is normally chosen by her born alive. But were all 18 of her pigs viable? Just writing in the corner of her sow card how many pigs looked to be around 1kg or less could help you make a better decision for selecting a sow for breeders. Maybe the decision will be to choose the sow with a 15 born alive rather than 18 that had six very The first three months of a calf’s life are crucial; they help determine its future small piglets. health, growth and productivity. Calf milk replacers, used properly, will support The healthy questionreduce should disease transfer. fast main growth, and you the risk of be asking yourself is are you Feed For Growth programme is designed to helpto reach their 100 Our giving your pigs the best chance you make the most of per cent potential? Are you providing them with enough this critical period. easily accessible water–at weaning? Are you restricting Volac calf milk replacers the feeders too much to try proper feeding. but you are because proper growth calls for to stop waste actually stopping the pigs from eating as much as they Experts in young animal nutrition potential could? For trouble-free rearing Lo Call: 00800 86522522 Land line: 00 353 49 433 4755 Nutrition companies are working extremely hard to find www.feedforgrowth.com a way to replace Zinc. Low protein diets have had good results. Organic mineral such as Bioplex Zinc have had positive outcomes also. Having a good gut health is the main objective to reducing Zinc and antibiotics. I think we need to concentrate more on feeding the sow to produce more uniform pigs, better quality colostrum and higher milk yields. Over the years everyone has been concentrating on improving born alive. But we haven’t paid as much attention on how the sow is going to feed and raise these extra numbers and I think gut health has had a negative effect to this from piglets not getting as much colostrum or milk from the sow. Zinc reduces problems with diarrhoea within the first two weeks after weaning. This is why we need to concentrate on having healthier weaned piglets. Farms that have a younger weaning age than others may need to plan to increase this over the coming years to help have a more mature, healthier gut for weaning. How much creep are you feeding your piglets in the farrowing room? 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Calf milk replacers, used properly, will support fast healthy growth, fast healthy growth, and and reduce the disease transfer. transfer. risk of risk of disease fasthealthy growth, and reduce the the risk of disease transfer. fast healthy growth, and reduce risk of disease transfer. reduce the Our Feed For Growth programme is designed to make make the Our Feed For Growth programme is designed to help you help youmost ofmost of of Our Feed For Growth programme is designed to help you the make the most Our Feed For Growth programme is designed to help you make the most of this critical period. this critical period. this critical period. this critical period. Volac calf milk replacers – Volac calf milk replacers Volac calf milk replacers – – – Volac calf milk replacers because proper growth calls for proper feeding. because proper growth for proper feeding. because proper growth callscalls for proper feeding. because proper growth calls for proper feeding. grow grow grow Experts in young animal nutrition Experts inin young animal nutrition Experts young animal nutrition Experts in young animal nutrition www.feedforgrowth.com www.feedforgrowth.com For trouble-free rearing Lo Call: 00800 86522522 Land line: 00 353 49 433 4755 For trouble-free rearing Lo Call: 00800 86522522 Land line: 00 353 49 433 4755 For trouble-free rearing Lo Call: 00800 86522522 Land line: 00 353 353 49 433 For trouble-free rearing www.feedforgrowth.comLo Call: 00800 86522522 Land line: 00 49 433 47554755 www.feedforgrowth.com 27