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When Stress Stacks Up: 8 Ways to Minimize Weaning Stress in Pigs

When you consider the number of stressors wean pigs face, it’s no surprise that starting pigs in the nursery can be challenging, says Madie Wensley, a nutritionist for Pipestone Nutrition. So, the question becomes, what can you do to help? Here are eight tips to help reduce stress.

1. Creep Feeding

Creep-feeding litters during the suckling period is one strategy that can acclimate pigs to solid feed before weaning, explains Wensley. Creep feeding should be considered for older wean-age pigs (over 21 days), as litter intake remains relatively low up until approximately 20 days of age. 

2.    Barn Preparation

Are the lights on? Is the heat on? Is the feed there? From Techmix Innovations Leader Denny McKilligan's perspective, early lifetime care, if done well, pays big dividends down the road. Make sure nipple waterers are turned on and cup waterers are full, feed is available in feeders, barn temperature and ventilation are at the appropriate set points, mats are in place, and brooders are lit well before pigs arrive at the site.

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