Posted 05-06-2003 at 06:57:28
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The sows can stay together, not only will they not bother each other's babies, but they even tend to nurse whoever shows up hungry, without regard to who belongs to whom. Once a sow lays down to nurse, she can see the dirt in front of her nose and that's about it. She would have to get up and turn around and look to see if there are any strangers in the bunch because of the way her neck works. There does need to be plenty of room though as they tend to step on or lay on their own as well as anything else that gets in the way when she is walking around or laying down.
At weaning time, pen up the babies and leave the mothers. This makes shots and exams a lot easier. It's best if the babies and moms do not have eye contact with each other but not critical. The important thing is to make sure you are safe from the sows as they will go through an adjustment period after the babies are removed and may come after you when you start to handle the piglets. If they 'bark' when you handle the squealing babies, they may get aggressive. Make sure the babies have a good high protein creep feed and PLENTY of fresh water.