Source: Gareth Salmond, Meadow Feeds, photo credit: Feed Navigator
In addition to increased stress and fighting levels in newly weaned pigs, they also suffer from disorientation when entering the weaning room. Management techniques to reduce stress and disorientation will create an environment for a smoother transition from weaning. Monitoring and controlling room lighting and climate are key factors in obtaining good performance in the weaner house.
Applying a proper lighting regime helps piglets in locating the feeders and watering nipples faster. Since feeders in the weaner room are often different than those of the farrowing room, it takes time to learn to eat from them. Some piglets learn this faster than others. Furthermore, pigs do not like putting their heads in a dark, confined environment. However, as piglets tend to learn from one another, proper lighting can accelerates the learning process. The use of additional feeders in well-lit areas is a well-known technique to accelerate this learning process. Figure 1 shows that piglets do not use the feeder during dark periods.