Piglets have different temperature needs (thermal requirements) from sows; the creep area provides the right temperature environment for the piglets and training them to use this area will provide them with a good start in life.
The creep has a secondary advantage of being a safe area where piglets can lie away from the sow and reduce the risk of being laid on.
- Piglets learn the behaviour of using creeps within the first 40–48 hours of life
- Enclose the piglets within a closed creep as soon as they have finished suckling
- This can be combined with split suckling, saving time by carrying out the two activities simultaneously
- Adapt the system to creep type used, for example, a simple box can be used to hold piglets in the correct area
- Increase the amount of paper bedding to improve the farrowing environment (paper absorbs moisture and helps piglets dry quicker)
- Keep piglets in the creep area for approximately one hour
For more information on creep feeding see our page on feeding the lactating sow.