Sow With Hot & Red Teats

I have just received an email about a sow who is due to farrow soon and her teats are hot and red.

“Hi Sara. My sow, Matilda, is due to have her first litter in the next few days. She is very content but I have noticed her back teets are very red and feel very warm, is this normal? She doesn’t seem to mind me touching them at all, I have been bathing them and she doesn’t seem to mind that either. We have had pigs for a year now and this is the firtst time we have gone through pregnancy. She has been wormed and her farrowing ark is clean. What more do I need to do?” Nelly

My response was
Hi Nelly,

I hope Matilda is ok. Watch out for mastitis which is a hardening of the teats and hot and painful teats. Mastitis can be treated with antibiotics. Here is a link http://farmingfriends.com/mastitis-in-sows/

http://farmingfriends.com/tip-for-helping-to-prevent-mastitis-in-sow-when-weaning-piglets/

Here is a link about signs of a farrowing sow
http://farmingfriends.com/signs-of-a-farrowing-sow-or-gilt/

http://farmingfriends.com/what-to-do-with-a-pregnant-sow-or-gilt-that-is-close-to-farrowing/

Hope these links are useful.

Good luck with the farrowing.

Let us know how she gets on. Just to let you know I have a free forum where there are lots of friendly members http://farmingfriends.com/forums/

Kind regards
Sara

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case or the The Virgin Pig Keeper by David Brown.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Saddleback Piglets Born

I have received an email from my friends Gregg and Belinda who got their saddleback pigs from me over a year ago. Two of their three saddleback sows have just had piglets.

Good news. Last night/ this morning one of our sows farrowed…giving us seven healthy piglets. Maggie is due to farrow some time today…she’s got milk. The other one will farrow in a week or so. We are planning to keep at least one of  the gilts for breeding. Thanks so much for helping us in getting started.

Here is Holly and her seven piglets.

Holly the saddleback sow and her seven piglets.

Holly the saddleback sow and her seven piglets.

Gregg emailed today to say that Maggie has now farrowed.

All is going well although Maggie has been a little unwell during the farrowing but is beginning to eat and drink.

Maggie the saddleback sow and her piglets.

Maggie the saddleback sow and her piglets.

LG is the third sow and she is due to farrow in the next few weeks.

I am hoping to go and see the piglets very soon.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case or the The Virgin Pig Keeper by David Brown.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Middle White Pigs

Middle White Pigs are a friendly breed of pig.

  • Middle White pigs originate from Yorkshire.
  • They have been bred from Large White and Small White stock.
  • This breed has a white coat with a flattened face and nose.
  • They have pricked up ears with feathery hairs around the edges of the ears.
  • These are early maturing pigs.
  • Middle Whites are reared for pork and can produce good quality chops.
  • They are good natured pigs.
  • Middle white pigs are a docile breed.
  • The snubbed nose can make this pig less prone to rooting.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case or the The Virgin Pig Keeper by David Brown.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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RSPCA’s Think Pig Campaign

I have received an email on behalf of RSPCA about their new campaign, Think Pig.

The RSPCA are raising awareness of pig welfare issues and trying to educate people about the different labels on pork products and what they mean for pigs.

If you are on facebook they have made a Facebook word game which incorporates facts about pigs and pig welfare, and encourages people to show their support by joining the RSPCA Think Pig campaign Facebook Page.

RSPCA Think Pig Logo

RSPCA Think Pig Logo

“The RSPCA’s THINK PIG campaign aims to encourage UK’s shoppers to use their consumer power to help improve pig welfare.

Many of the 160 million pigs bred for meat across Europe live in conditions that the Society believes are unacceptable. Pigs face a range of welfare issues that most people are just not aware of.

Consumers have the power to make a difference for pigs and that’s why the RSPCA is urging consumers to ‘Think Pig’ when out shopping and make sure what they put in their shopping basket is a vote for better pig welfare.

The campaign needs to reach a broad consumer audience and the Facebook game,

Think Pig Game Screen

Think Pig Game Screen

with its social elements, is one of the ways that the Society hopes to achieve this.

RSPCA and Farm Animals

The RSPCA is working harder than ever before to try to improve the welfare of as many farm animals as possible, at every stage of their lives.

More than 900 million farm animals are reared every year in the UK. Unfortunately the law alone is not always strong or detailed enough to ensure that they all have a good quality of life, and are transported and slaughtered humanely.

It is a huge challenge to try to improve the welfare of such a large number of animals, ranging from those kept as pets to those kept on large-scale farms. The RSPCA works in a number of different ways to encourage improvements, and always uses all available scientific information and practical evidence to support our arguments.”

This is an important campaign for me as I have kept pigs and would like to know that all pigs are kept in good conditions and are well looked after, so if you are on facebook then head over to the Think Pig page and lend your support.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case or the The Virgin Pig Keeper by David Brown.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address to receive regular emails of the posts on the farmingfriends website:

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Screening Of Pig Business Film By Tracy Worcester In York

City Screen will be showing the pork industry documentary Pig Business by Tracy Worcester which compares traditional, environmentally sustainable farming with industrialised agri-business on Tuesday 11 May at 8.30pm at York City Screen.

I am going to watch this film on Tuesday night which has been organised by Slow Food North Yorkshire. As I myself was recently a pig keeper and breeder I am interested in looking at the welfare of pigs and how high-welfare pork products are marketed in the British supermarkets.

Visit the website to find out more about the film Pig Business.


Oxford Sandy & Black Pigs

I have been asked what are Oxford Sandy & Black pigs like.

They are ginger/sandy coloured with black blotches and have lop ears, a white blaze, socks and tip of the tail.

Oxford Sandy & Black pigs are good dual purpose pigs, they don’t get too fat, they are docile, easy to handle making them great for the beginner, hardy & good mothers.

If you are going to breed Oxford Sandy & Black pigs then the piglets will be a mixture of colours.

If you keep Oxford Sandy & Black pigs then I would love to hear from you about your pigs.

I am delighted to say that within two hours of writing this post I have had an email from Kim who keeps and breeds Oxford Sandy & Black Pigs.

“I have kept the Oxford Sandy and Black pig for sometime now and they are a wonderful temperament pig, very quiet and as you say brilliant for beginners. They are lighter boned than most breeds giving them more meat to fat. Also they do not grow to the clossal size of most pigs. The boars are equally as quiet and placid.

The meat is very succulent, sausages are also wonderful and the bacon is out of this world. So a dual purpose pig lending itself for joints and bacon.

On my website have written about the OSB and have a monthly pig facts page which has helped those in need of assistance. And should people wish to ask questions then i am always at hand for further advice.

Most of all they are great fun and good for the soul.

By the way, another good pig book is Keeping Pigs by Carol Harris – A Guide to Traditional Pig Keeping – 2nd Edition.”

Kim from www.kbrook.co.uk

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case or the The Virgin Pig Keeper by David Brown.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address to receive regular emails of the posts on the farmingfriends website:

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Should You Be Present When A Gilt Or Sow Is Farrowing?

I am sometimes asked if you should be present when a gilt or sow is farrowing. Some people believe that you should just let the gilt or sow get on with the farrowing. However if your sow/gilt knows you well then she may not mind you being present. It is useful to be on hand in case the gilt or sow needs assistance or in case the sow becomes aggressive towards the piglets.

If you are present at farrowing time then it is important that you have a pig board and easy access to the door so that you can get away from the sow if she becomes aggressive or is disturbed by your presence. If the gilt or sow is distressed by your presence then you will need to withdraw from the farrowing pen and leave the sow/gilt to farrowing on her own but I would stay close by so you can still monitor if all is going well or if she needs assistance.

My sows farrowed in a barn and usually started farrowing late afternoon and into the evening. I always sat behind the sow so I had easy access to the piglets and was in a position to help the sow if she needed assistance with farrowing the piglets. I would sit with the lights out and the light from the heat lamp would be enough for me to see what was happening.

I also needed to be close by as one of my sows could get aggressive at farrowing time and she has tried to bite and kill the piglets during farrowing.

Being present or close by so you can observe the farrowing process gives you an insight into their farrowing habits and behaviour which is useful information when the sow or gilt farrows again.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address to receive regular emails of the posts on the farmingfriends website:

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Pigs Can Suffer SunBurn & Heatstroke

Did you know that pigs can suffer from sunburn? Pigs cannot sweat so it’s important that they can cool down in hot weather.

A mud wallow is a good way to help prevent sunburn and heatstroke as the pigs can go and wallow in the muddy water and cool down their skin.

Make sure your pigs have good shelter from the sun so they can get out of the suns rays.

Sunburn – Light coloured pigs are particularly susceptible to sunburn. You can apply suntan lotion to help protect the skin, but not oil as the oil will help to burn the pig’s skin. The symptoms of sunburn are a reddening of the skin, blistering and a staggering movement. The pigs should be moved to a shaded area and kept cool. Apply calamine lotion to the sunburn and cold wet cloths applied behind the ears will help lower the pig’s temperature.

Heatstroke – If a pig gets too much sun then it can cause the pig to stagger about. The pig will start to shiver and stagger. They may lie down and be panting and their temperature will be raised and their skin hotter than usual. You will need to cool your pig down if they suffer heatstroke or sunburn. You can cool them dow by hosing them down or placing a wet towel onto their skin or creating a mud wallow near them so they can lie in it.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Feeding Pregnant Gilts Or Sows

Pregnant gilts or sows  can be fed:

  • sow breeder pellets/nuts or
  • milled barley / mixed with pig concentrate and
  • a selection of vegetables (particularly cabbage and broccoli as they helps with milk production.)

A sow will eat about 5 or 6lbs of feed a day which is the equivalent of up to 40 bags of pig feed.

Don’t feed your sow more than 6lbs of dry feed a day, unless they are close to farrowing or nursing piglets.

It is important to increase the amount of feed given to the gilt or sow a few days before she farrows. Increase the feed by 2-3lbs a day a few days before farrowing.

Then increase the feed by ½ -1lb per piglet born per day after farrowing.

Pigs should not be fed parsnips as they give them blisters in and around their mouths.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Hampshire York Cross Barrow & Gilt Pigs

Keyley who is a member of the farmingfriends forum has sent me some photos of her Hampshire / York cross barrow and gilt pigs.

Hampshire York Cross Barrow & Gilt Pigs

Hampshire York Cross Barrow & Gilt Pigs

Keyley's Hampshire York Cross Barrow & Gilt Pigs

Keyley's Hampshire York Cross Barrow & Gilt Pigs

The male is called Ben and the gilt is called Goosey and they were 6 weeks old on the 18th March.

For those of you that don’t know a barrow is a castrated male and a gilt is a young female pig that has not had any piglets yet. Check out the pig glossary for more piggy terms!

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.

If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address to receive regular emails of the posts on the farmingfriends website:

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