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

A lot of pig questions
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SnowBear    Posted 05-23-2003 at 11:33:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi,
This is my first time posting here.

Here's our situation:
We've acquired a 1 1/2 yr. old sow who's never been bred. She is originally from a hog farm that raises breeding stock and 4-H hogs but ended up being owned by a young girl who made a pet of her instead. The sow is in very good health and is neither over nor underweight. We've raised many pigs for butcher but have never kept a sow and raised our own weaners and would like to give it a try.

Is this sow too old to breed? There are a few boars available locally for boar service but I'm concerned about risk of disease. Where would a person check into finding an AI tech? (Extension office?) Is learning to AI a hog yourself all that difficult? (We do have a fair amount of general livestock knowledge and experience.)

At present we have her contained in livestock panels with a small temporary house for shelter. What is the best housing arrangment for a brood sow? Would a 16x16 box stall plus a large outdoor paddock be suitable? Or we can build a house and pen from scratch if that isn't satisfactory. Is it truly necessary to have a farrowing crate? We'd rather not go that route but have been told they'd crush the newborn piglets if we didn't. If that's true, how did pigs survive back in the old days without crates? Do pigs born in spring/summer/early fall need heat lamps? We have electricity to the existing stall, but hate using heat lamps due to fire risk.

Any and all suggestions appreciated.


Dave    Posted 05-25-2003 at 20:29:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here are a few useful URL's:

http://www.ces.purdue.edu/pork/ A ton of info here dig thru the articles using the menu on the left. Start with "reproduction" at the bottom.

http://www.thepigsite.com/discussion/index.asp?ForumSel=PigHealth Look thru the archives of previous questions and ask new ones and go to the main page ( http://www.thepigsite.com ) to find articles.

I have a bunch more, but that will get you started. Also go to google and do a search for "boar semen" you will find a lot of info that way too, as well as some good genetics to get your operation off to a good start.
DR


dale b    Posted 05-25-2003 at 07:09:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
snow, your new to you sow is NOT too old to breed.
you MUST catch her when she is in heat. that can be trickey...
ai is a good way to breed a sow. its easy too if you know what to look for.
about 5 years ago i got out of pigs, not before spending years dealing with them.
i now from time to time teach people how to ai properly.remember, you have to work around the sows schedule, not yours.
email me and i will explain what to look for.
hogs can be a lot of fun, and they are SMART!
hope this helps...
dale b


Longmill    Posted 05-23-2003 at 12:14:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've just recently come out of lurking, too. :-)

Many, many years ago my father raised pigs for our own consumption. He'd sell a few, each year, to friends and neighbors. Sometimes he'd barter, too.

Anyway, he had about five acres of pasture fenced in with hog wire. He had a small feedlot sectioned off, so he could keep the hogs out of the main pasture, if needed.

In the feedlot area, he had a large 3 sided shelter. Out in the main pasture, he had a several small 3 sided shelters, too. Off the feedlot, he had several small pens with shelters, too.

It's been too many years ago for me to remember the why's and such. Sometimes he'd remove a sow, a few days before delivery and put her in one of the small pens. The sow and her pigs would remain in this pen for several weeks before they returned to the main herd.

Sometimes a sow wouldn't show up at feeding time. He'd usually find her in one of the shelters in the main pasture, or in a nest that she'd made in a secluded section. If they were doing well, he'd leave them there.

He didn't have problems with mama crushing her babies. Once in a while a sow would step on one of her young.

The reason why I've brought this up is that if hogs have enough space, they do very well on their own. Hogs that have escaped into the wild are, in some cases, too good at reproducing themselves.

Had a brother-n-law who tried running a pig parlor for a while. We helped him from time to time. In that very different environment, his hogs needed much more care than those of my father's. The sows were crowded so closely together, he had to take measures to ensure the baby pigs weren't crushed.

Your hog shouldn't be too old to bred. In fact, she may have a stronger litter because she hasn't been bred too soon.

I don't know much about AI, since that became an option after I had any active involvement with raising hogs. I'm sure others will give you good advice in that reqards.

BTW, are you prepared to handle the males in the litter? Or, do you have someone who can take care of that chore for you? Wondering.... do people eat "mountain oysters" today?

Hope some of these comments are useful.

Longmill


rosemary    Posted 10-24-2004 at 22:07:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
longmill, the answer to your question is yes sir i sure do eat mountain oysters and lamb fries and fried brains too good eatin. and thats my opionion that it is good eatin. country by blood and by nature. my friend!!!


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