This article discusses 4-week batch farrowing (4WBF), very common in small farms (250 sows) in some other countries, including France. Analysis will be based on a comparison with 3-week batch farrowing (3WBF).
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Each batch of sows is identified with a different colour, so we will only have to look at the colour of the pegs
The dispersion of matings described in the previous article is even more drastic on farms operating in bands over one week.
Wouldn’t it be great if all the sows on a farm (weaned sows, gilts, repeat breeders…) could be mated on the same day?! And if we were able to choose, on Mondays?
This may be a good option when farrowings and litter control during the first days are the priority.
On small farms it is better to group tasks on specific days, leaving other days with less tasks in order to organize days off...
On large farms, it is common to wean more than once per week. This way, tasks can be homogenized throughout the week: each day will have a similar volume of work as the previous day.
A large part of the work on a swine farm can be divided into 3 key tasks: weaning, mating and farrowing. The day chosen for weaning determines the other two tasks; first, the matings, and then, as a consequence, the farrowings (the 2 ‘great events’ of which productivity of a farm depends on).