4 comments

In search of the ideal batch (2/2)

As we discovered in the last chapter, there are no “traditional” BM systems lasting over one week that allow for weaning at 28 days with a 5-week rotation time. However, breaking with the theoretical norms, we can wean at 28 days when working with batches every 5 weeks.
As we discovered in the last chapter, there are no “traditional” BM systems lasting over one week that allow for weaning at 28 days with a 5-week rotation time. However, breaking with the theoretical norms, we can wean at 28 days when working with batches every 5 weeks.

BM every 5 weeks with weaning at 28 days

What occurs is that the reproductive system is drawn out to 21 weeks, which isn’t wholly divisible among 4 lots every 5 weeks. In this situation, 3 batches remain with an interval of 5 weeks between them, while the 4th batch gets delayed to 6 weeks.



In this case, the distribution of traditional weekly BM tasks would be altered as followed:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M B 0 0 0
W = Weaning
M = Mating
B = Births
0 = Nothing

  • The births join up with the matings throughout 3 lots.
  • In the 4th lot, the tasks are organized in a “traditional” manner (one week for each main activity).
During 3 lots, the 3 main tasks on the farm are concentrated in just 2 weeks of “vacation”. This can turn out to be inconvenient, or not, depending on ones preferences.
  • With this “alternative” BM system, we have been able to fill part of the “emptiness” that we came upon in the last chapter. No we can take advantage of the 5-week maternity rotation time in order to wean at 28 days.
  • This option is probably ideal for small-medium sized farms. However, on larger farms we come upon the problem of excessive task grouping. What can we do in these cases?
The BM every 5 weeks with weaning at 28 days is the key that opens the door to the “ideal batch”. Lets suppose we have 2 farms with batches every 5 weeks, out of turn for 3 weeks:

Farm 1:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 1 2 3
W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M B 0 0 0 W M
+
B
0
Farm 2:
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 1 2 3
W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M
+
B
0 0 0 W M
+
B
P 0 0 0 M B 0 0 0
Farm 1+2:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 1 2 3
W M
+
B
0 W M
+
B
W M
+
B
0 W M
+
B
W M
+
B
0 W M
+
B
W M B W M B W M
+
B
0

When joining the weekly tasks from both farms, the distribution of activities would be as shown in this chart. We would have 3 cycles of 5 weeks (beginning with weaning, marked in blue) with one distribution: Weanings / Matings+Births / Nothing / Weanings / Matings+Births

Following would be 2 lots with a 3 week rhythm between each batch: Weaning / Mating / Births.

The orange square marks the start of a new sequence, exactly identical to the one described.

Now, lets imagine that the 2 farms that were out of turn are now organized within the same farm. It would be a fusion of 2 BM systems every 5 weeks with weaning at 28 days that would generate a 3-2 BM system with weaning at 28 days.



3-2 batch management system with weaning at 28 days

This would be the “ideal batch”. This is a system that offers several advantages:

1. Allows what we have been looking for from the beginning: Rotation every 5 weeks, weaning at 28 days:
  • The 5 week rotations are no longer exclusive territory of 5-week BM systems.
  • This opens the door for BM systems on mid sized, and even large farms (more than 1000 sows).
2. Higher productive capacity than the 3 week batches, but still weaning at the same age (28 days):

We are able to achieve 1 productive lot more than in the case of 3 week batches.
  • BM every 3 weeks: 7 productive lots
  • BM every 3-2 weeks: 8 productive lots
This would represent a 1/8 increase in productive capacity (12,5%) when going from a farm with BM every 3 weeks to 3/2 weeks with weaning at 28 days. This is greatly beneficial because often, the possibility of transforming a 3-week BM farm is excluded due to a large reduction in the census. With this new system, we open the door to a new rotation option (5 weeks) that doesn’t so much penalize the reduction in sows and continues to allow weaning at 28 days.

3. As with the 3-week BM system, the sows that are delayed 1 week can be reincorporated, weaning them at 21 days in the next cycle. However, with the advanced sows, there isn’t as much of a margin.

4. Allows for a greater margin when surpassing the forecast farrowings than the BM system every 2, 4, and 5 weeks.

5. Repetitions at 21 days tally well with the next lot: On occasions exactly, and other times there is a 1-week delay.

6. Greater ease when making fostering sows than with other BM systems.

7. Good task distribution:
  • Matings and births within the same week.
  • Weanings do not coincide with births.
  • One “free” week out of every 5.
8. Possibility of working with irregular batches: when disposing of an even number of lots (8) the possibility of working with lots that have a different number of sows exists. For example, if we have 120 maternity slots available, we would look for 70 births in one lot, and 50 in the next. This aspect is compromised in the case of 3-week BM system because with an odd number of lots (7), when weaning a lot with fewer sows (50), it should become a lot with more sows (70), and vice versa.

Disadvantages:


This can seem like a more complicated system, since there is no constant weekly task distribution, but once installed, the only aspect to keep in mind is that we have to wean when the lot reaches 28 days. And even so, it is highly recommendable to use a mating schedule so as not to loose track.

If we have time in gestation – control for 2 lots (5-week rotation), we should move sows to confirmed gestation (yards, with the new welfare law) for 30 days. Another option is to have space for 3 gestation- control lots and move them at 35 days. We will have empty pens during 1-2 weeks, but all the same, this extra space is necessary to be able to move the sows to be weaned.

Aspects to keep in mind:

If in the transition we have space for 2 lots of piglets, we will have 4.5 weeks of housing (1 less than with a 3-week BM system).

If we have space for 3 lots, one lot will have 6.5 weeks of housing and then next will have 7.5 weeks.

This situation will be altered when the 2 lots that are 3 weeks apart arrive, becoming level with the 3-week BM system situation.

Article Comments

This area is not intended to be a place to consult authors about their articles, but rather a place for open discussion among pig333.com users.
05-Nov-2011Robin TraquairRobin TraquairThis BM looks very good for dry sow and lactating sow management,however if you are building new grower and finishing accomadation rooms you would have to be build in two sizes of rooms.This is not ideal and tricky to manage.How have other farmers worked around this?
08-Nov-2011Carles CasanovasCarles CasanovasRobin, the number of sows per batch is fixed by the number of farrowing rooms and number of farrowing crates. For example, if you have 10 rooms with 10 places, your farrowing objective will be 50 farrowings (5 rooms) every 2-3 weeks, so the rooms or buildings for weaners and growers will always be 550 (if you are weaning 11). This is the most frequent way to work with this system.
What I'm saying is that with this BM, as you have 8 batches, you have to be capable of working with an irregular number of farrowings per batch. This is interesting when you have an odd number of farrowing rooms. For example, if you have 5 rooms with 20 places / room, you could attempt an objective of 60 farrowings (3 rooms) in one batch and 40 (2 rooms) in the other in order to run the farrowing facility AI-AO. In this case, the places for weaners and growers will be one time around 660 and 440 the next one. This can be properly managed if you have 5 rooms of let's say 220 for the weaners and the same for growers.
17-Jul-2013susan rensusan renwe use only one batch every 5 weeks for 280 farrowings .we have 4 buildings for the the grower-finshers. Every bacth of 3000 nurseries are located in one building.
17-Jul-2013Carlos CasanovasCarlos CasanovasThat's fine Susan. It's the only system that will allow you AI-AO practice at your grower-finish units (also 4 weeks, but then you will need an extra building). That's a big farm (around 1200 sows, right?) so that also shows that BM is not restricted to small size units. Just consider that with 5 week BM you can wean at 28 days.
Regards, Carlos
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