Weaned piglet handling system

The aim of this project was to devise a method of minimising the stress on piglets at the same time as improving working conditions for staff while piglets were being handled, for example at vaccination.

Following a number of prototypes, a piglet sorter built from stockboard was developed and fixed to the yard.

The piglets move into the sorter from the trailer in groups of 10-12. They enter into pen one, where they receive their first vaccination and are marked, and then move into the second pen to receive a second vaccination and different colour mark.

Before being released from the sorter the piglets are checked and if necessary removed for any medical treatments.

Benefits of the system

  • Piglets never have to be picked up
  • The pens have drop-down flaps to allow better access by stock people, enabling them to remain in a normal standing position while vaccinating
  • Piglets are at a more suitable height for observation
  • The system can be easily cleaned
  • It can be put under shelter in bad weather
  • The system facilitates quick moving and handling of piglets as someone on the trailer moves groups of piglets up to the sorter while two batches are being treated
  • Vet and med equipment can be set out ready without risk of being disturbed by animals and doesn't need to be moved around

Download the basic race design