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