Dr Henry Magambo, who works with Champrisa International, says weaning is the process of stopping the piglets from suckling the sow. This is done by removing the sow from the farrowing unit or removing piglets from the sow unit to their new pen. Champrisa International are sponsors of the annual Harvest Money Expo. They deal in livestock feeds from the Netherlands.
“There is both planned weaning and forced weaning,” he says. Planned weaning is when the piglets reach the right weaning age, which is between five weeks and eight weeks. However, there are circumstances where piglets are forced off the sows if, for example, the sow dies or she does not have enough milk to feed all the piglets.
Magambo says this period is very stressful to the young animals on one side and the farmer on the other side because there is a threat of losing the piglets.
“The solution is to use what is called ‘milki wean’. This is another of the innovations from the Netherlands. These are formulae similar to what mothers who have little breast milk give to their babies,” he says.
Magambo says the innovation is similar to powder milk and the preparation is the same. “A farmer can process it the same way powder milk for humans is processed and then fed to the piglets. A farmer can use suckling bottles to feed the piglets in order to avoid any possible wastage,” he says.