’Partial’ or ‘split’ weaning involves the earlier weaning of part of the litter before the normal weaning date. There have been isolated reports which claim that such a practice can reduce final weaning to service and conception interval and increase the size of the subsequent litter. However, these possible effects have not been quantified adequately and accordingly a study was carried out to further evaluate this practice.
The study was conducted on a 700 sow commercial unit in Aberdeen-shire with crossbred Large White (LW) x Landrace (LR) sows mated to LW, LR or LW x LR boars. Sows and litters were accomodated in conventional farrowing pens and weaning took place when litters averaged 17 days of age. Following weaning, sows were transferred to dry sow stalls adjacent to boar pens. Newly weaned pigs were transferred to flat-deck nursery accomodation.