BPEX blog

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Sow care checklist – where to start?

A number of aspects of management can go wrong during the cycle of the sow and have subsequent effects on performance. At Oxford and Salisbury Pig Training Groups we used our ‘Care of the Sow’ workshops to discuss culling policy, reasons for losses and to design a check list for new starters in the dry sow department.

For the checklist, some people chose to concentrate on the paddocks first, including water, fences and hut damage. Some favoured giving clear instructions on what to look for in the pigs themselves, pointing out that alarm bells should always ring when one pig is doing something different from the rest. Other people thought the farm routine should be stated first, to paint a picture of what is expected and how things work.

We also discussed the term ‘lameness’ and some of its causes, which can range from flinty ground to incorrect boar sizes, poor space allowance at weaning and mycoplasma arthritis.

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