Sign up now!
Don't show this again
Download the report!Continue to Site >
or wait 7 secs

Thank you for confirming your subscription!

(And remember, if ever you want to change your email preferences or unsubscribe, just click on the links at the bottom of any email.)

We’re glad you’re enjoying Pig Health Today.
Access is free but you’ll need to register to view more content.
Already registered? Sign In
Tap to download the app


Collect articles and features into your own report to read later, print or share with others

Create a New Report


Read Later

Create a new report

Report title (required) Brief description (optional)
follow us

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Favorites Read Later My Reports PHT Special Reports
Pig Health Today is equipped with some amazing (and free) tools for organizing and sharing content, as well as creating your own magazines and special reports. To access them, please register today.
Sponsored by Zoetis

Pig Health Today | Sponsored by Zoetis

Featured Video Play Icon

Batch farrowing offers smaller sow farms improved disease control

Independent sow farms grouped together and using batch farrowing may be able to capture the same health advantages as a 5,000-sow farm with all-in, all-out production, suggested David Baumert, DVM, Zoetis.

Batch farrowing involves breeding a large group of sows in a short period of time versus breeding a small group of sows every week.

“For example, we will take a month’s worth of traditional breeding and do all those sows within the first week of the month,” Baumert said. “Subsequently, we’re going to farrow and wean that same large group of sows in a short time frame.”

Batch farrowing works well when several smaller sow farms cooperate and develop a schedule for breeding, farrowing and weaning on different weeks. For example, one farm breeds on week 1, another on week 2, another on week 3, and week 4. Subsequently, farrowing and weaning will follow on monthly schedules.

Less stress, less disease

“The advantages of disease management from batch farrowing will show up both in the farrowing room and downstream in the flow of pigs,” Baumert stated.

Batch farrowing allows full clean-out and sanitizing of a farrowing facility before the next batch of sows enters. On smaller hog farms, this rarely happens.

“A routine scour issue in baby piglets and the rotaviruses are better controlled if we can wash every farrowing crate within the system,” Baumert explained. “We’ve also seen diseases either better controlled or eliminated more quickly where every 30 days we move every baby pig off the farm. It helps in a number of both respiratory and enteric diseases.”

The batch method also reduces weaning stress.

“If we reorganize so those relatively small, independent farms farrow large batches of pigs at a time, we can cut down the number of pigs (from different sources) going into a nursery,” Baumert said. “We would put two or three groups of piglets in a nursery (rather than eight to 12 groups) and fill it in a relatively short period of time.

“Commingling pigs (from many sources) creates health issues and stress among the pigs,” he added.

Full lactation for all sows

Sows benefit from batch farrowing by staying on a schedule that allows full lactation for all sows. A few sows can’t be pulled out early to re-breed for another group.

“While this cuts down on the number of litters per sow per year, the litters are better quality,” Baumert said. “We’ll often see a moderate increase in pigs per litter for subsequent litters because every sow has a full lactation now.”

Sow farms with 1,000 to 1,200 sows may benefit most from a cooperative batch-farrowing system.

“I think the health advantages that it provides is what’s going to drive these small and intermediate-sized sow farms to join in the batch farrowing,” he stated.


Posted on April 4, 2018

tags: ,

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Share It
It’s not unrealistic to say that if you checked the nasal cavities or tonsils of any group of pigs, you would find Strep suis. While the strain and impact can vary widely, this commensal bacterium is on virtually every hog farm.

Click an icon to share this information with your industry contacts.
Google Translate is provided on this website as a reference tool. However, Poultry Health Today and its sponsor and affiliates do not guarantee in any way the accuracy of the translated content and are not responsible for any event resulting from the use of the translation provided by Google. By choosing a language other than English from the Google Translate menu, the user agrees to withhold all liability and/or damage that may occur to the user by depending on or using the translation by Google.