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.

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How To Worm A Pig

You can worm a pig by:

  • injection,
  • pouring a liquid wormer onto the back of the pig,
  • by liquid in the water or
  • a powdered wormer in the feed.


The most effective way to worm is by injection because you ensure that the pig gets the right dose for it’s weight and age.

Adding wormer to the water or feed is more difficult as you cannot be sure how much each pig has consumed.

Your vet will advise on the best course of treatment against worms for your herd of pigs or piglets.

Ivermectin wormers are a good treatment against a range of worms.

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

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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.

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Worming Piglets

Piglets should be wormed at about 2 months of age or when the piglets are weaned. A piglet that is not wormed will not grow as quickly or as well as wormed piglets. You can administer a wormer by injection, pouring a liquid wormer onto the back of the pig, by liquid in the water or a powdered wormer in the feed.

Outdoor piglets are more likely to pick up worms than indoor piglets but both can have worms.

Your vet will advise on the best course of treatment against worms for your herd of pigs and piglets.

Ivermectin wormers are a good treatment against a range of worms.

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

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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.

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Pig Animal Movement Records & Forms

Animal Movement In The UK – You are required to get a license to move any pigs from your premises. You will need a movement license form each time a pig leaves your premises or you bring a pig onto your premises.

You can obtain these forms from your local animal health officer at your county hall offices. When completing the form upon movement of a pig or piglets from your premises, one copy is given to the person moving the pigs/piglets, one copy is kept by yourself and another copy is sent to your local animal health officer at county hall.

You must keep a record of animal movement with the following information included:

  • Your name and address.
  • Date of movement.
  • The Herd Number / Identification Number or Temporary Mark on Pigs.
  • The number of pigs being moved.
  • The Holding Number and Address From Which Pigs Have Moved From.
  • The Holding Number and Address To Which Pigs Are Moved To.

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

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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.

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Saddleback Weaners For Sale York/Hull Area

My friends Belinda and Gregg have 8 Saddleback weaners for sale.

Saddleback Piglets

Saddleback Piglets at 4 weeks old

The weaners are 8 weeks on Friday 12th March 2010, they were born on the 15th January 2010.

Saddleback Weaners

Saddleback Weaners at 4 weeks old

There are 2 boars and 6 gilts. The piglets are happy, healthy and good natured piglets.

Gregg and Belinda are based in the York and Hull area and would be happy for any prospective buyers to come and visit the piglets and the sow that farrowed the piglets.

Here is a picture of Maggie the sow who farrowed and raised the weaners.

Maggie The Pedigree Saddleback Sow

Maggie The Pedigree Saddleback Sow

If you are interested in the piglets for sale as weaners then fill out the contact form with your details and whether you are interested in gilts or boars.

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cforms contact form by delicious:days

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

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What To Look For In A Pedigree Saddleback Pig

To be eligible for pedigree registration, a saddleback pig must have the following characteristics:

Saddleback Sows

Saddleback Sows

  • be black with an unbroken white saddle or band of white hair covering the front legs and up over the shoulders.
  • the pig (male or female) must have a minimum of 12 good and evenly spaced teats.
  • the pig can have a white tip on it’s tail but this is not necessary.
  • the pig can have a white nose but this is not necessary.
  • the pig can have white hind legs up to the hock but this is not a necessity.


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

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Can Piglets Be Left To Wean Naturally?

I am often asked about weaning piglets and I thought that Katie had an interesting question that asked if it’s ok for piglets to be left to wean naturally.

“Hi,the time has come to wean my 8 week old piglets but i really dont want to yet do i really have to cant i leave them to wean naturally? Katie”

Hi Katie,

Firstly have you been supplementing the piglets milk from the sow with creep feed, if not then you will need to do this before they are weaned as a quick change in their diet will upset their stomaches and give them scours.

Also you will need to consider the sow, in the wild the sow would naturally wean her piglets herself, so you could leave the piglets with the sow and I have read that she should naturally wean them herself by week 12. However if the sow has alot of piglets and their teeth have not been clipped and the sow is still feeding the piglets then you need to consider the condition of her teats and the amount of milk she is producing. Producing milk for along time makes the sow loose condition. Also if she is feeding alot of piglets it can take it out of her, especially as the piglets get bigger. The piglets teeth can scar the teats and this can lead to mastitis once the piglets are weaned.

Weaning can cause stress for the piglets. It is always best to remove the sow and not the piglets. Also if you do wean the piglets you only want to do this on that day, for example you don’t want to tag the piglets that day as well as they will get stressed.

I usually wean my piglets at week 8, although the sows only move to the next barn where they can still see and hear the sows so it could be seen as less stressfull for the piglets. I found that Cagney who was feeding 15-16 piglets on her last litter with 14 teats was releieved when I weaned the piglets at 8 weeks. When I moved her to the next door barn she actually laid down and had a rest and you could see the relief that when she laid down there were no piglets trying to suckle her, so observing the habits of your sow may be an indication if it’s time to wean the piglets. Is the sow looking tired, does she lay down and then get up quickly when piglets try to suckle, does she try to move away from the piglets? These may all be signs she is wanting the piglets to be weaned.

When weaning piglets the sow can be vulnerable to mastitis and when I weaned piglets at 6 weeks once my sows got mastitis. A tip to avoid this maybe to leave a runt or two with the sow and let them continue to suckle for another week or so until the sows milk dries up. You do need to be careful that these piglets when added back to the group don’t fight with the other weaners as separated pigs will fight.

Hope this info is of use to you. Hope the sow and piglets are doing well. I will add your question to the farmingfriend’s pig forum as I know that Topveg is a pig expert and may have some advice.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

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

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Tip For Helping To Prevent Mastitis In Sow When Weaning Piglets

I was recently told by a neighbouring smallholder that a good tip to help prevent mastitis in a sow when weaning the piglets is when the piglets are weaned (about 8 weeks old) from the sow leave the runt with the sow.

  1. This will help to stop the sow from getting mastitis as the runt will drink the sows milk and stop the sow from drying up too quickly and the teats becoming infected.
  2. The runt will grow well and quickly on the sow’s milk.

If you have any advice for helping to prevent mastitis in sow’s at weaning time then please leave a comment.
A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

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Tips For Feeding A Slow Growing Runt

I was recently asked for some tips and advice about feeding a slow growing piglet.

“Dear Sara, I have a runt of a litter and he is growing very slow.  Do you have any advice? Jeff”

Tips and advice for feeding slow growing runts of litter.

  • A good tip is when the piglets are weaned (about 8 weeks old) from the sow leave the runt with the sow. One, this will help to stop the sow from getting mastitis and two, the runt will grow well and quickly on the sows milk and you can also supplement the milk from the sow with creep feed for the runt as well.
  • When piglets are very young they feed from the sow little and often so depending on the age of the piglet I think I would make up small amounts of milk and feed little and often.
  • Dependent on age bottle feeding can take place every 2- 4 hours.
  • Piglets can be fed sow milk powder, sow’s milk or baby milk.
  • Make sure the milk is at blood temperature.
  • A 3 week old piglet would get about 75-100ml 3 or 4 times a day.
  • Try to get the piglet to drink from a bowl as soon as possible so that it is less reliant on you.
  • Also consider feeding the runt separately so that the runt is not competing with other piglets. I recently hand reared a few piglets as the sows only had 14 teats and each had at least 16 piglets. 3 or 4 piglets from 2/3 weeks of age very quickly learnt to run out of the barn where they were with the sow and other piglets and into another room in the barn where they were given warm milk in a tray on the floor.
  • When the piglet is 7/8lbs try to move the piglet onto solid milk feed (creep feed) as this will avoid overfeeding and the possibility of the piglet getting the scouring illness. I would introduce the creep feed a little at a time as a sudden change in a pigs diet can lead to scours.
  • Once the piglet is on dry food it will then need fresh water although I have been recommended to have water available for hand reared piglets at all time which is advice I have always followed.
  • If the piglet is still very young, I would try to make the piglet as independent as possible so I would possibly start with the bottle feeding and then see if the piglet will take some of the milk from a bowl. They learn quickly to do this.
  • When they are old enough to be on creep feed, if you are still giving them milk, I would also have creep fed available for the runt.
  • I would also give the piglet a piece of turf with grass and soil and the piglet will root through this and get iron that will help prevent scours from occurring.

If you have any advice for Jeff about feeding a slow growing piglet then please leave a comment.

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

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Splay Legs In Piglets

Splay legs in piglets is when the newborn piglet is unable to hold the front and or back legs together. The piglet is unable to stand up properly and the front  and or hind legs will be spread out. The piglet also finds it difficult to walk and it is therefore difficult for the piglet to access the teat and get the colostrum and milk from the sow.

A piglet with splay legs will need to be hand reared as they can die if left to their own devices. If they are not given milk they find it difficult to get to the teat when the sow calls the piglets and then the piglet can starve to death or the piglet may be crushed if it cannot move away from the sow when she lays down.

Splay legs can be caused by:

    • Immaturity of the muscle fibres in the hind legs, over the pelvis and occasionally in the front legs.
    • Piglets standing on very smooth or wet slippery floors.
    • An aggressive farrowing sow snaffling the piglet and damaging the legs.

    I had a piglet with splay legs who I named Splays.

    Splays the splayed legged runt of the litter

    Splays the splayed legged runt of the litter

    He was hand reared and is a success story as he grew and left the farm at 8 weeks old to keep another runt of a litter company on another farm. You can read all about splays the Click here to read all about Splays the splay legged piglet.

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

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    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.