A “batch” is understood as a group of animals that are in the same physiological state at a specific time. Batch management in breeder farms allows the organisation of work and is established with the aim of having a global planning of the farm.
Large farms tend to work in weekly bands, planning a weekly weaning day and concentrating most of the farrowings on certain days of the week and most of the coverings on other days. Due to the fact that the covering batches are large, a high number of farrowings and piglets are weaned weekly, which enables a comfortable filling of the transitions. This management facilitates the organisation of days off and concentrates the maternity staff on the busiest days in this area and the gestation staff on the busiest days in the farrowing area.
In small farms, the tendency is to organise the animals in bands of more than 1 week, normally with bands every 3 or 4 weeks. With this type of management, the benefits are the following:
This handling also has some disadvantages such as: