Continuous Throughput Compared with 'All-in, All-out' in the Management of a Farrowing Unit in Thailand

Many improvements were seen on a farm in Thailand after an 'all-in, all-out' management policy was implemented, according to Suraphan Boonyawatan and A.A.S. Eggen.
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An 'all-in, all-out' production system minimises the transmission of infection between different age groups and batches of pigs. For a farm operating a continuous flow production system, it is normally difficult to change to and manage an 'all-in, all-out' system but the economic benefits can be significant. Regumate® can be used to synchronise insemination and farrowing as a major step towards establishing an 'all-in, all-out' system.

The aim of this study was to compare the production performance of a farrowing unit managed by continuous flow and by an 'all-in, all-out' system.

Materials and Methods

This study was performed on a 400-sow farm arranged as follows. There were two farrowing houses each with 65 farrowing pens, and a dry sow house with 520 pens. Sows were served by AI (19 to 26 sows per week), and between 12 and 24 sows farrowed per week. The farm manager realised that this system did not allow for the proper cleaning and disinfection of the farrowing accommodation.

A batch farrowing system was instituted in January 2008 with oestrus synchronised on a three-week cycle using Regumate. Thereafter, between 68 and 72 sows were inseminated every three weeks, and 55 to 65 sows farrowed in the same period. So the first batch of sows and gilts that was inseminated farrowed in March 2008 and their piglets were weaned in April 2008.

It is possible, therefore, to compare the performance of the farrowing unit between April 2007 and April 2008 (continuous production) and between April 2008 and April 2009 ('all-in, all-out' management). (Figure 1)

Figure 1. Stock management before and after the change

* each pig icon above represents five pigs


Twenty-one weeks after the change to batch farrowing, the farm could be divided into seven batches of 55 to 65 sows per batch. All the sows had been through the system, so the farrowing accommodation could be emptied, cleaned and disinfected. Many performance indicators improved in 2008 even though Thailand experienced a PED outbreak.

The performance in the farrowing unit is shown in Table 1.


After implementing 'all-in, all-out' management a lot of improvements were seen on this farm.

In spite of one per cent fewer sow inseminations, 18 per cent more pigs were weaned. The farm was easier to manage. Inseminations were better planned and more controlled, and the labour force involved was more focused and less stressed.

The farrowing house could be properly cleaned and disinfected, and one of most important improvements was that the farm manager could organise and plan all aspects of production according to a reliable timetable.


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This paper was presented at the 21st International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS) Congress 2010 on 19-21 July 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
For more information about the Congress, click here.

July 2010

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