Posted 02-18-2004 at 11:59:45
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Well, thanks Kelly but I'm no expert. Here's what I do know though. First have you timed the days exactly since the breed date? Three months three weeks three days minimum. Sometimes a few days longer. Her bag will start to fill with milk anywhere from two weeks before she farrows, and if she has a long body (a big York for example) it can fill even later, like three or four days before birth. Is it possible your date is off? I've had that happen.
If she has had a lot of time lapse between litters, she is not optimum for breeding. In other words, if you don't use it you lose it. Sometimes if they don't stay 'well oiled' they can go barren either for a period of time or for good. The best way to tell (for me anyway) is to get her comfortable on her side with a light source in front of her or behind her. If you're estimating that she should be close, then you should see lots of movement in there right under the skin. Within three to four days before birth it looks like they're holding a square dance in there.
The way we do it is to rub them on their side, gradually reaching lower and lower until you are gently rubbing their belly. She should just fall over and show you her underside to give you ample room to rub those spots she can't reach. While you or your husband gives her that special attention, the other should watch for telltale movements.
Anyhow that's how we do it. I'm assuming you are in a position that you can do this. Ours are all hand trained. The minute we slide a hand down their sides they fall over like they've been shot.
A lot depends on your boar, too. He may have fathered many litters, but if he just had another sow in with him for example, he needs a few days to recover. Three days minimum is what I've been told. It's tricky sometimes. We've had sows that we swore were pregnant and then...nothing.