It is important that piglets get enough iron in their first week of life.
Piglets are born with low iron levels which needs to be boosted within a week of being born. They will not receive enough iron from the sows milk so it is important that the piglets get iron from another source. Outdoor reared pigs will get a source of iron from the soil as they root about in the ground for food. It is important to provide indoor reared piglets with a source of iron within the first week of their birth as they will not have access to iron supplies unless administered by hand.
Indoor reared piglets can be given a piece of turf with soil and grass for them to feed on which will provide them with iron.
The piglets can be injected with iron medication either into the neck or bottom. This is what we did with the 15 piglets that we have on our farm. Our piglets were injected with gleptosil into their bottoms. The difficulty with this procedure is keeping the piglets still long enough to inject the iron into them.
It is important that the piglets receive this additional iron because if they do not they may die. One indication of iron deficiency is if the piglets pass a white coloured dung or scour and piglets who do not get enough iron can become sickly and do not grow as quickly or develop as well as the other piglets.
Once the piglets are feeding on creep feed from three weeks of age they will get sufficient iron levels from this food.