ThePigSite Pig Health
Medicated Early Weaning (MEW)
See also chapter 3 for further information
(147) This is a specialised technique for producing high health status breeding stock from a disease herd. It is used mainly by breeding (seed stock) companies rather than commercial producers although systems such as three-site and multi-site production which have evolved from it, are highly applicable to commercial production.
Basically, MEW breaks the cycle of infection by farrowing groups of sows in isolation and weaning their piglets to clean premises at about 5-7 days of age. Medication of the sow and piglets, and sometimes vaccination of the sow, are added safeguards depending upon what particular infections are to be eliminated.
This method produces excellent results in removing most bacterial infections. However, it is possible to produce a pig that is so devoid of pig organisms, that it cannot be acclimatised into conventional herds. Also if a new herd is established by this method it can be very susceptible to even low pathogenic organisms. The technique is used mainly to establish new high health herds.
A possible medication regime
Bacterial diseases that can be eradicated by MEW: