uPIGLETS suffer just as much stress from being given iron orally as by injection, with most stress coming simply from being handled. Work at ADAS Terrington, Norfolk, shows that handling piglets increased stress levels, masking the impact of the chosen method of giving iron to prevent anaemia, explained researcher Richard Wynn.
uHUNGER is more likely to drive piglets to creep feed than the desire to explore. Edinburgh Universitys Herng-Fu Lee suggested this meant introducing creep gradually so piglets become hungry and are encouraged to return to the creep area.
uPUTTING boars in with newly weaned sows cannot be relied on to cut aggression, according to SAC Aberdeens Dale Arey. However, the trial found that where feed stalls were used, allowing sows continual access cut skin damage levels.
uTREATING gilts with Receptal – a treatment given to improve fertility in cattle – 12 days after service increased the number of pigs born by up to 0.5 pigs a litter. Treatment, given during the seasonal infertility period, needs more research, but potentially has a role in controlling the problem, said Royal Vet College PhD student Mandy Dawson. *