Recently, I was asked if I had any data on the impact of transport distance on weight loss and recovery in weaned pigs. Transport loss has the potential to be a big factor in our industry as almost all weaned pigs are relocated at weaning, with the majority tending to travel at least 50 miles or more in my experience.
While she was at the University of Manitoba, Nora Lewis conducted several research trials on this topic using 17 day-old weaned pigs. In general, her conclusions were that there was minimal impact of transport time on weight loss for newly weaned pigs, as long as transportation conditions weren’t either severely hot or severely cold.
In one trial she transported pigs 0, 6, 12 or 24 hr. Maximum weight loss was recorded at 2.4d post –wean, regardless of transport time. Weight loss averaged 6.9% of weaning weight and pigs returned to weaning weight at 3.7d post-wean.