School Work

Pig Stages Growth

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  Pregnancy and birth  A sow is pregnant for 115 days, this is called a ‘gestating sow’. This number is easy to remember: it is exactly 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. Two checks are made to see if the sow is pregnant: the farmer or the vet makes an ultrasound scan after 3 weeks and after 6 weeks. A sow that is going to give birth for the first time is called a gilt. These young sows sometimes need assistance at the birth. On average a sow gives birth to 12 piglets each pregnancy. A sow is pregnant on average 2.3 times a year. Baby phase  A piglet drinks its mother's milk for 28 days. A sow produces 10 litres of milk per day, which is enough to feed all her piglets. After 1 week the piglets are also given solid feed in the form of easily digestible pellets. After 3 weeks the sow starts producing less milk and as the growing piglets get hungrier, they are given more pellets to eat.   Young pigs   After 4 weeks the piglets are moved to a separate pen for a period of 6 weeks. At this stage the piglets weigh about 7 kilos. This creates more space in the farrowing house. The gilts and castrated boars are housed in groups of 10 to 12 animals. This creates a calm, sociable atmosphere in the group. The animals are provided with:   A heated place to rest   A full feed trough   Fresh drinking water   A separate area for dunging   Toys such as a chain, a ball or a bag Adult phase From a weight of about 23 kilos the pigs are transferred to the fattening or finisher farm. This may be an entirely separate farm or a building or section on the same farm (farrow-to-finish integration). At the fattener farm the pigs are housed in groups. Here they grow in 16 weeks to reach a weight of about 115 kilograms. Then they are sent to slaughter  A day in the life of a typical pig farmer The morning  7:00 - 8:00 Feed sows and piglets 8:00 - 8:45 Eat breakfast with the family and take the children to school 8:45 -10:00 Check sows that aren't pregnant - check if sows are in heat (ready to be mated) - order semen 10:00 -12:00 Inspect pregnant sows and piglets (check if they need more/less feed, vaccinate against sickness etc) Meeting with colleagues to discuss allocation of tasks, matters requiring attention etc. The afternoon  12:00 - 12:30 Inseminate sows 12:30 - 13:00 Lunch with the family 13:00 - 15:00 Clean the pens 15:00 - 16:00 Visit by farm advisor/ veterinarian - discuss the feed strategy - discuss how to optimise the climate in the pig houses 16:30 - 17:30 Feed sows and piglets   Update the records. The evening  17:30 - 18:30 Eat with the family 18:30 - 19:00 Clean the hygiene sluice 19:00 - 20:00 Take the children to bed and have a shower 20:00 - 21:00 Do computer entries and the books 21:00 - 22:00 Relax and watch TV 22:00 - 22:30 Final inspection of the sows in the farrowing section

Assessment Primer

Jul 23, 2017

OB - Notes

Jul 23, 2017
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