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 Piglet sorter for handling piglets
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