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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

To pig or not to pig
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Jeff    Posted 05-10-2003 at 03:01:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have always bought piglets in the past. I am having a problem finding them this spring as we had a farmer burn out and lost 200 pigs this winter.how much of a problem is it to raise3 or 4 sows and have them pig 2 times a year.Besides the cost of the feed is it worth it.I have heard you want to be ready when they are having the piglets in case there is any problems. ANY ADVICE...THANKS JEFF


WallSal55    Posted 05-10-2003 at 09:08:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our experience with the sows giving birth was
we had to vaccinate the baby pigs. (Vet bill.)
The vet also explained how to clean the lots as
he had 200 my husband wanted to sell. Well, the
market was low, never went up. (I told him and my FIL told him not to gamble it, but he did anyway.) When the pigs sold, we had $5,000 feed
bill left, we lost $5,000. That was about 1989-1991.
I enjoyed it much better with 3-5 sows having
piglets, then we got to put some of that Pork in
our freezer!


DeadCarp    Posted 05-10-2003 at 03:48:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
First add it up - around here you can bid-in a 600 pound hog for about $50 - geez that's cheaper than property tax on the land where you'd grow the feed. :) On the other hand, if your buddy throws away barrels of sour milk or uses trailerloads of rejected donuts for bear bait, you could pen a few hogs up under the powerlines somewhere.


It's not that hard    Posted 05-10-2003 at 07:48:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Your best bet is to use a good 14% hog maintainer every day as a base feed. Sows pregnant and lactating need extra calcium and if they don't get it from their feed they'll pull it from their bones and can end up lame.

They need four lbs a day when not pregnant. They stay pretty much on that formula until they farrow and then feed should be gradually increased to 12 lbs a day until she weans.

Now. If you always use that base of
commercial feed (at least two pounds a day) then you can supplement other things to make up the difference. You can experiment. If she starts to look thin then step up the feed or make changes the type of feed. We supplement with thrift store bread, eggs, fresh vegetables and anything else we can get in quantity but you need to know what you're feeding and what it has in it. I can give you tons more information if you leave an e mail address here.

The boar, if you keep one, can be tricky.


jeff    Posted 05-11-2003 at 01:37:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
NEED more info, should someone have to be around when they pig or are they ok to be left alone. We both work outside the farm so no one is around all the time. any other advice don't want to go into this and have lots of difficulties. Thanks Jeff


The thing is...    Posted 05-11-2003 at 04:57:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Everyone has different opinions. I have been with every sow we have while birthing except for two, and basically didn't help a bit. On several of them I caught piglets and wiped them off and and set them up to nurse. On a few of them I didn't.

The ones I didn't help got along just fine. The babies made their way around to the sows belly just fine and wriggling all over each other they cleaned themselves off. The two I was not present for had a higher incidence of squashed piglets, but none of my pigs have ever delivered in a crate and these two were in small pens. They were restricted.

I have heard stories of piglets getting stuck sideways but have never seen it happen. That's not to say that it never will. I had three that delivered on pasture and had NO squashed babies, one of them I was not present for. I got out there after the fact and she had twelve live babies and no still born.

This season we will have fourteen sows delivering between August and early September. They will all farrow on thier own in a five acre pasture with huts. I feel confident that they will be fine. If it's convenient to be with them I will be, if not, I wont.

There are no guarantees that everything will be fine. There is no reason to assume that everything will go wrong. The best I can tell you is that to improve your odds of successful farrowing, based on what I have seen, put them on pasture.

If you have a couple of acres to let them run on, you and they will be better off. They get exercise, they get to graze and supplement their diets with grass. They get to choose where and how they farrow. The closer they can be to a natural state, the better they will do. That has been my experience.

Someone else may tell you to crate the sows. I can only tell you what I have learned.

Another thing is the type of sow. If you can, get yorkshires. They have longer bodies, larger litters, easier births and are excellent mothers. Durocs tend to be more aggressive to their young and hamps tend to take longer to farrow. Our hamp sow has a short body and her piglets took up to fifteen minutes between. Scared me to death. I had my arm up her three times searching for a stuck piglet and found...nothing, they just moved really slow. Plus she only had eight.

Our Duroc sow only had nine, she stepped on three and killed two outright by savaging them. We've never had a yorkshire have less than ten. Hope this helps, but you have to understand that everyone does things differently. Also you get to know your pigs through trial and error.

The best advice I can give you is to stick with yorks, feed them well, and put them on pasture. I think you'll find that you will have very few problems.


Elizabeth    Posted 10-22-2005 at 11:31:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I to have durocs babies I was there with her when she had them and she was kept in a farrowing crate that dident have that much room but she had 8 perfect babies. They are now 3 months and I am trying to sell them if u have any way to sell them that would be easy pls help me out


dale b    Posted 05-13-2003 at 04:23:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
well said...
i agree about the yorks.

the jestation period is 3months 3weeks and 3days, or 121 days.
why just have 2 litters a year when you could have 3?
i always artificial inseminate the sow.
handleing a bore can be a challange if you are not use to it.
dale b


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