Weaning is a difficult time for both piglets and sows. To reduce the negative effects of weaning, the sow and piglets must be prepared for this critical event. In Romania, on large farms weaning is done at the age of 35 days when the piglets weigh on average 6-8 kg, and in small subsistence farms, it is done at the age of 8 weeks when they weigh 12-14 kg. The rules of weaning refer mainly to the gradual transition of piglets from the infant regime to the regime of weaned piglets, namely: providing additional fodder to piglets from 7-8 days of age so they can gradually increase intakes and become accustomed to solid feed, and reducing the number of milk feeds 4-5 days before weaning. Reducing access to suckling leads the piglets to consume additional feed in larger quantities.
This action is recommended as follows:
-5 days before weaning, 4-5 suckling opportunities;
-4 days before weaning, 3-4 suckling opportunities;
-3 days before weaning, 2-3 suckling opportunities;
-2 days before weaning, 1-2 suckling opportunities;
– one suckling allowed on the day of weaning.
The sow leaves but the piglets remain in the maternity ward for 5-10 days, depending on the technology that is applied. 2-3 days before weaning, the amount of feed administered to the sows is reduced, and on the day of weaning the sow does not receive feed, but only water ad libitum.