It is apparent that various aspects contribute to the good performance on the visited farms. The most important success factors are:
• Hygiene: among other things, thoroughly cleaning the area after each round.
• Health care: vaccinating the piglets against Mycoplasma and deworming them according to a set deworming strategy. Five out of the six farms vaccinated either their piglets or their fattening pigs against Mycoplasma.
• Feeding aspects: on five of the six farms, the animals received wet feed thrice daily by means of a long trough so they could eat all together. A lot of attention was paid to the quality, availability and stability of the by-products. The rations contained large amounts of pure grains and easily digestible protein sources.
• Shelter: on five of the six farms, the floor space per animal measured 0.8 m2. The animals were housed in relatively small groups (eight to twenty-one animals per pen).
• Climate: the barn climate was good on most farms.
• Delivery management: at the first delivery to the slaughter house from all pens one or a few pigs were delivered so that the other animals had more space. On none of the farms were the remaining animals transferred to a room containing younger pigs.
• The farm manager: most farm managers had a very structured method of working.