Articles

  1. 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...
  2. Reducing Disease Risk When Introducing New Pigs

    Whenever possible, it is wise to limit the number of new pigs that make their way into your stock. Even if you commit to trying to have manageable numbers of only animals you breed to fulfill your needs, sometimes adding a pig or two is hard to resist. Avoiding new acquisitions is not a long term reality, however, so there will probably come a time when a new pig enters the fold and safety precautions during introduction will have to be taken. The first step in bringing another pig home is...
  3. Pig Fencing Considerations

    When it comes to keeping animals in, or out as the case may be, a good fence is essential. Regardless of on which side of the fence your animal belongs, you want it to stay there. Pigs are no exception to the list of animals willing to escape and thus pig fencing requires special attention so there are no unexpected escapes and needs for impromptu roundups as a result. The type of fence you need will in large part depends on the type of pig you intend to keep inside. Large breed pigs, for...
  4. The Swimming Swine of Pig Island

    You may have heard the expression 'when pigs fly' a time or two in your life. While it is impossible for a pig to fly and that is a sight you will unfortunately never be able to see, pigs have many other talents to amaze and even entertain you. For example, pigs can swim. This may not be something you see on a regular basis, but it is true nonetheless. While pigs need access to a body of water in their environment to keep cool due to an inability to sweat, chances are that most pigs do not...
  5. Can You Conquer the Fear Other Animals Have of Pigs?

    To a person or animal that has or does not spend a lot of time around pigs, getting acquainted with them can be a daunting task. When you consider the vast array of sounds pigs can make and behaviors they might exhibit, it can be tough to decipher what the intentions of a pig might be when meeting for the first time. This is something that is easily understood and overcome by the experienced pig farmer, but what if you have other animals on your property that might have to at times interact,...
  6. Porcine Terminology

    When getting acquainted with something that is new to you, the terminology that comes along with it can sometimes be a lot to learn. It seems like there is jargon associated with everything we do, from the cars we drive to the computers we use for work and entertainment. Another thing jargon applies to is the animals in our lives, whether you have dogs and cats or cows and pigs. Even if you've had pigs for quite some time, there is bound to be a term or two here and there that are new to...
  7. Oddments, Offal, and Other Pig Parts

    Recently we discussed the pig parts that are high and low on the hog, as well as those that fall in the middle. That is not all there is to the useful parts of the pig and we have plenty left to discuss. Without further ado, here are the oddments, offal, and other pig parts! Oddments are below what is considered to be low on the pig, although their location can make that a bit tricky. For example, fat and organs are generally looked at as 'low' on the hog regardless of where they actually...
  8. What's Involved in a 4-H Pig Project

    If you've got kids and breed pigs, at some point you'll probably run across a kid working on a 4-H swine project. But what all is involved and what will they need to complete the project successfully. A project guide curriculum will guide children and parents through the project and should be obtained as soon as possible. Children are taught how to select, feed, raise, breed and market their pigs while learning and practicing valuable life skills such as public speaking, working with others,...
  9. The Many Meat Cuts on a Pig

    If you intend to raise pigs for meat, as many of our forum members do, it is essential to know the value of different cuts or pig parts. With so many useful parts of a pig, waste is simply not an option. While there are some pig parts that are not preferred for human consumption, that does not mean the livestock guardian dogs on the farm will not willingly consume those parts as a treat. Waste not, want not. The most desired cuts are those that are high on the hog. Even the middle of the...
  10. Hoof Trimming and your pigs

    There's a saying in equine circles: no hoof, no horse. But beyond horses, this is true of any livestock, and pigs are no exception. Hoof trimming is vital to the health of any pig for a number of reasons. If your boar's feet hurt, he's not going to want to breed your sows, exercise to reduce constipation risks,won't move out of messy areas that hold disease or feed as much as he should. Gilts and sows will be exposed to more pathogens, run more risk of constipation and isn't in as good of...
  11. Easy Garden Tilling with Pigs

    Getting a garden ready to grow can be tedious work. As you maneuver your tiller about, sweat dripping from your brow, chances are you are dreaming the entire time of a better, easier way. The good news is that an easier way does exist: pigs! The natural habits and behaviors of pigs can be very much to your benefit; all you have to do is use them correctly. By giving pigs a job they are meant to do by design, success is bound to be yours. One such example is tilling a garden. Why put your...
  12. Swine Veterinary Care : Deworming

    They're gross, stretchy and wiggly. My daughter would rather run screaming than deal with them in any way, shape or form whatsoever. They cost you feed, production and livestock. What are we talking about? Worms. I had an instructor in college who pointed out, quite logically, that though we regularly refer to as worming is actually deworming; you don't want to give give the animal worms; you're trying to get rid of them instead. The writer in me caught onto that pretty quickly. So let's...
  13. Getting your pigs on a Vaccine Schedule

    It seems like there's a million different vaccines out there for pigs, but only a few that are regularly used because of the obvious benefits they provide producers. Let's take a few minutes to talk about the five most regularly used vaccines, the diseases they protect against and when to administer them. Remember to follow your vaccine's label instructions as far as what type of injection it requires, do not mix your vaccines, never vaccinate a sick or recovering pig and never inject the...
  14. Just a little stick: Administering vaccines to your pigs

    Though they don't provide 100% protection against disease, vaccines provide a significant advantage for most producers by protecting the majority of their livestock. There are a number of diseases that can be protected against using vaccination, which will be discussed in a future article. First, a quick thought on vaccination technique and effectiveness. Vaccines can be administered three different ways: subcutaneously (SC), intramuscularly (IM) or intravenously (IV). For the average...
  15. Farrowing Difficulties

    We all hope that things go quietly and easily for our sows when they're farrowing. But what about when things aren't going quite as they should? We've spent some time discussing how to lower piglet mortality rates before, during and after farrowing in normal situations. Though a sow needs help in under 1% of farrowings, it's better to know what to do beforehand so that you can do what's needed to take care of your sow. In this article, we'll discuss some problems that can occur in...
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