Flemish sow farmer, Wim Rolly, offers the lightest born piglets on his farm a better chance of survival by removing the heaviest piglets from the sow and placing them apart.
This way the smallest piglets can also absorb enough colostrum. Mr Rolly, who is responsible for the farrowing management on the family-run sow farm, looks at the size of the litters and, where necessary, places large piglets aside so that the smallest animals can go to the udder.
“Sufficient colostrum intake is of great importance for small piglets,” says Mr Rolly, who also omits the use of vitamin pumps and drinking syringes. After the first day, the smallest piglets are placed with a sow, so that they have the best chance of reaching the finishing line. “The littlest ones don’t stand a chance between larger piglets,” says Mr Rolly. Until weaning at 3 and a half weeks, the lightest piglets will stay with the sow. “We do our best to save as many light piglets as possible. We definitely offer them a chance. With less than 10% drop-out in the farrowing house, it works very well.”