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    Make Transport Easy By Training Pigs to Self Load

    Loading and moving pigs can be a complicated task. For starters, they have to be rounded up and loaded into a transport truck or trailer, which is not always an easy task. This in itself can be difficult to accomplish, setting the tone for the remainder of what might ultimately be a tough journey. Photo: Kilchoan Diary Whether you move pigs about to show, to take to the market, or because you buy and/or sell, it is a necessity that you be able to load them when the need arises. In order to...
  2. Teeth: The Tool for Aging Pigs

    At what age to prefer to purchase pigs? Whether you prefer young piglets or animals near to butchering age, it is key to know the age of the animals you buy. In most cases, a reputable seller will provide you with accurate information, but should a seller be dishonest or have poor record keeping skills, you will need to be able to determine age on your own. Photo: Storm Front If your plans, and budget, include bringing home a pig that is ready to be fattened for butchering purposes, it...
  3. A Pig's Eye View

    If you watch a pig for a long enough amount of time, you will notice certain behaviors that are common amongst the species. This could be ways in which they conduct themselves, such as types of movement or the way they appear to look at things. You may notice a certain cock of the head or a point at which a pig moves away from an implied threat. It could even be that you see your pigs try to fit into holes and spaces that are too tight for them. These behaviors and more are because of the...
  4. A Pig in Curls: The Mangalitsa

    Pigs come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. From teeny tiny teacup pigs to massive monster pigs, to say there is variation amongst the species is to hit the nail on the head. Pigs come in different colors as well, and some of them even sport different hair styles, at least as where the Mangalitsa is concerned. Photo: Note Passer At first glance, a Mangalista may look like a standard pig from afar, but when you take a closer look, something unsual will reveal itself, that being a curly...
  5. Save Money on Pig Feed By Sourcing Local Food Scraps

    Feeding pigs can be an expensive endeavor depending on the amount of property you have at your disposal. If you have a farm situated on a large piece of acreage with pasture potential, turning pigs out on that pasture can aid you in greatly reducing feeding costs. However, in this day and age, more people are turning to pigs as a means to raise their own food, and they are using smaller parcels of land to do so. Keeping pigs on minimal property is very easy to do, although it can be...
  6. 5 Interesting Facts About Pigs

    Pigs, as we know, are interesting, marvelous creatures. Often underestimated and unappreciated, the pig has some rather intriguing traits that are sadly not always common knowledge. There are plenty of fascinating things to learn about pigs that might surprise even the most seasoned pig owner or handler. 1. Pigs are faster than they appear. If you have ever had a pig, or herd of pigs, escape a fence, you know all too well what an experience that can be. Chasing down one or more pigs can be...
  7. Ear Notching for Identification

    Being able to identify animals that look the same or similar can be a difficult task to say the least. A good example of animals tough to tell apart from one another are piglets. Further complicating matters is the movement of those animals to and fro, movement that can be so quick that you don't even realize Piglet A and Piglet B have swapped places right under your nose. Depending on the breed, they may have markings that will help you tell one piglet from the next, but that is not always...
  8. Templeton Rye: Feeding Pigs to Taste Like Whiskey

    In recent years, a push for organic fruits, vegetables, and meats has become a movement. As people not only realized the health benefits of avoiding things such as genetically modified foods but also noticed the excellent taste associated with organic items, it has become more of a popular choice to eat organic. The reason organic items taste so good is because what those animals themselves eat is cleaner and more natural. Thus, the taste of those animals is better in turn. You are what you...
  9. Maintaining Reproductive Soundness

    When the goal is reproductive success, it is essential to give the necessary support care to create a healthy breeding animal. In order to provide such care, there are several avenues that should be pursued as well as care guidelines followed. The healthier the breeding stock, the healthier the offspring, and the better chance of survival each piglet will have. Nutritional needs should be met first and foremost in all animals, but breeders in particular may require some supplementation. In...
  10. Selecting Breeding Stock

    The backbone of any successful breeding operation is the animals used in it. This means having and using well-bred stock that is correct in conformation and other desirable traits. While conformation is important in order for a gilt or sow to be physically able to handle pregnancy, good conformation is also an important trait that is passed down to offspring, some of which may become future breeders which will in turn pass breeding down to newer generations as well. When it comes to...
  11. Cutting Needle Teeth

    Piglets are born with a set of eight surprisingly sharp teeth. So sharp are these teeth that they are referred to as 'needle teeth.' After birth, these teeth are often clipped due to the hazards they prevent if left intact. The procedure of clipping needle teeth is quick but does require care to get the optimum benefits from doing so. The most important reason to clip needle teeth is because of the level and degree of sharpness they bring to the table...the table being the teats in this...
  12. Heat Cycles: At What Age, How Long, and How Often

    In order to breed your pigs, it is essential to choose the opportune time. There are several elements to this, all of which must coincide for a successful breeding to take place. If just one part of the plan were to go awry, the opportunity to breed could be missed, resulting in a delay in pregnancy and farrowing for several weeks if not longer. The first step in breeding a sow or gilt is for her to be sexually mature. Gilts typically reach puberty at around five months of age and at that...
  13. Pig Shelter Considerations

    Having adequate shelter is an important building block in any pig operation. A place to get out of the elements is conducive to acquiring and maintaining good health amongst your herd. There are a variety of shelter types that will work for pigs but the fundamentals of each remain the same. For starters, pig shelters need to be sturdy enough to contain pigs and should be built of materials such as wood or blocks. The last thing you want is to spend all your time and effort on building a...
  14. The Crushing Reality of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus

    A terrible disease has reared its ugly head in the porcine industry in the United States. On May 17, 2013, the presence of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, of PEDV was confirmed to have made its way into the U.S. Previously known to exist in Great Britain (first diagnosed in 1971) as well as sporadically in Europe, PEDV has been commonly found in Asia since the early 1980's where it is known to be a major problem. While this disease is also a coronavirus and is related to Transmissible...
  15. Problems with Pig Skin

    Paying attention to the health of pigs' skin is another important aspect of pig care. In order to nip problems in the bud, keeping an eye on the condition of your pigs' skin is essential. Since pigs can acquire lice, ticks, mange mites, and other skin conditions it is key to be able to recognize and know how to treat these issues not only for the health of your pigs but also for your own health as mange can be spread from pigs to their human caretakers. Mange in pigs is caused by mite...
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