Lower Mortality with Canopies and Intelligent heat lamp

Mortality in the farrowing pen has several causes and comes at different times. During the farrowing itself it is important that the piglets very fast get dry.

We recommend:

Suspend an additional heating lamp behind the sow during farrowing. Remove it immediately after farrowing, do not let it heat more than 6 hours.
Assure that the piglets get sufficient colostrum. This is important for the development of their immune system, which protect them later on. The late born and the smallest are the most risky.

Train piglets not frequenting the creep area. Some litters take long time to use the creep. Block them inside the creep an hour two to three times the first 24 hours, so they get used to the place. Consider to use the split suckler tool to make this job easier and safer. The intelligent heat lamp will assure that the piglets are OK inside the creep.

As the milk production of the sow increases, the piglets will produce more heat themselves. In some cases they may feel too warm inside the creep after a few days, and some will rest next to the sow to be comfortable. The risk of getting crunched is eminent. The intelligent heat lamp prevents this.

With the intelligent heat lamp generally all piglets must rest inside the creep. If they often rest outside the creep an explanation must be found and corrections be done. If they stay outside one explanation can be too low milk production of the sow. 

As the intelligent heat lamp assures correct temperature inside the creep, this possibility can be out ruled. Other courses become more evident and you might respond in time.

A field test proving a lower mortality is impossible because of the big variation in mortality over time. You need 10000 farrowings to prove a 3 % lower mortality, and 1 % lower mortality pays easily for the product.

In a few cases an extraordinary reduction in mortality is experienced. The Dutch Research Farm Sterksel saw a statistical reduction in mortality using a canopy and an intelligent heat lamp. See Sterksel Results.

A French top farmer experienced that primitive canopies and intelligent heat lamp gave one extra weaned piglet per litter.

In average you will wean 1.5 extra piglets per year and per farrowing pen. This corresponds to 1 % of the piglets weaned in one year.  

The photo to the left shows creep areas with canopy but no intelligent heat lamp. The photo to the right shows, what happens when introducing an intelligent heat lamp: Massive energy savings and improved environment for the piglets.


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