Articles

  1. After Farrowing, now what?

    We've reached our fourth part on preventing piglet mortality from farrowing to weaning, and this will conclude normal farrowing operations. Our focus until now has been on getting to farrowing and the immediate needs the first day or so after farrowing. This piece will cover the management needed to lower the 18% piglet moralities between birth and weaning: Now that we've got hooves on the ground, it's time to take care of some of the things that can cause piglet mortalities after birth:...
  2. During Farrowing - The Piglets

    We're up to our third part on preventing piglet mortality in the time from farrowing to weaning. Up until now, our focus has been on the sow and how her care is reflected in reducing the 25% piglet mortality rate, with 7.1% at birth and 18.2% after they are born. Now we'll take a look at the piglets and the management they need to avoid diseases and deaths early on in life: It's interesting to note that it's actually the piglet that starts the labor process. Once it has matured enough to...
  3. Pig Diseases & Ailments

    Even the healthiest of animals can get sick from time to time and pigs are no exception. While they are generally rather hearty, pigs should still be observed for signs of illness. Also recommended are inoculations per a regimen designed by a qualified vet based on the plans you have for your pigs, whether they will be pets that never leave home, show animals, or meat animals. Regardless of where you intend to take your pigs or what their intended purpose might be, keeping up with their...
  4. Farrowing 101: During Farrowing - The Sow

    As the second part in our series on preventing piglet mortality from farrowing to weaning, we\'ll discuss what happens during farrowing and how to get the best possible outcome. Piglet mortality is typically around 25% and is caused mainly by disease or poor husbandry before or following farrowing. Here\'s the basics: It\'s time! Don\'t panic! When you\'ve been waiting months for your piglets to make their appearance, it\'s easy to get flustered. Pigs have been having babies for millennia...
  5. Farrowing 101: Before Farrowing

    With piglet mortality from farrowing to weaning in the 25% range, it\'s important to do everything possible to prevent problems in the farrowing crate. Piglet mortality is mainly due to disease and poor management either before or after birth. Here\'s the basics of farrowing and what you\'ll want to have on hand: Let\'s start with the sow. Because parasites become a continuous cycle in livestock, you\'ll want to deworm her for internal parasites as well as treating her for lice and mange a...
  6. Pigs 101: Basic Veterinary Care

    When you\'re starting with pigs, it can seem like there\'s a whole world of information out there you need to learn quickly. This simple guide will give you the basics of veterinary or health care in pigs: Basic Maintenance Keep an eye out daily for physical or behavioral changes. If the pig has a reduced or lost appetite, weakness, staggering, breathing issues, abscesses or changes in the skin, or a high or low temperature are a good sign that you should call the vet. Beyond concerns such...
  7. Pigs 101: Basic Care and Feeding

    It doesn't seem to matter whether it's at the county fair, a local farm show or a friend's farm, there's something irresistible about pigs! But once you've got them in hand and home, what does it require to keep them? Here are some basics on pig care to help you out: Fencing and Shelter Feed stores have these great things called hog panels, and for good reason! With more closely-welded gaps between heavy wires and a shorter height than cattle panels, they do the best job of keeping your pig...
  8. Why Wallow? Why Not!

    One of the most well-known, natural behaviors of pigs is wallowing. They have been depicted as doing so for years in movies and books, such as was the case with Wilbur in Charlotte's Web. Just as Wilbur wallowed in mud while Fern and Avery swam nearby, pigs in general have a deeply rooted relationship with mud. Happy pigs and mud seem to go hand in hand, but what is it that drives a pig to seek mud, and what makes it so enjoyable? The main reason it is suspected that pigs appreciate a good...
  9. The Importance of a Healthy Gut

    Just like humans, having good gut health is important for the overall health of a pig. This is especially important in young pigs as it is easier to get started on the right foot rather than have to repair damages and digestive complications on down the road. Since the gut of a pig correlates with immune function, it is the first line of defense a pig has against illness. A healthy gut also lends to normal growth and optimal performance throughout the life of a pig. When you consider all of...
  10. Pig Grooming Tips

    We tend to think of pigs as creatures that wallow in dirt and mess, but pigs require proper care and maintenance as any other pet would. However, pigs require less upkeep, since they are fairly capable of looking after themselves, and you don\'t have to deal with heavy fur. If you\'re thinking of getting a pet pig for your home, caring for them is easier than you may think. Bathing The skins of pigs are naturally clean, and do not need to be washed on a frequent basis. Only bathe your pig...
  11. Help Your Piggie Slim Down

    In popular culture, we tend to see images of overindulgent pigs helping themselves to whatever humans will give them, but in reality, this is not an entirely healthy depiction of pigs. Pigs love to eat, and will eat just about anything, but too much food can lead to health problems. If you find that your pig has gained some excessive weight, there is no need to panic. Instead, you\'ll have to place your piggy on a small diet. The type of diet plan you give your pig all depends on the breed,...
  12. Thinking of Getting a Pig? (Part Two: Tricks)

    Training a pig can be rewarding and fun, but you may be mystified over what types of tricks a pig can learn. Pigs are smart animals that can learn a wide range of tricks, but it all depends on the personality of the animal. There are basic tricks that any pet should learn, but there also things pigs can learn that may shock you. Potty Training Pigs can learn to relieve themselves indoors like cats. This trick mostly apply to pot-bellies or miniature pigs. Young pigs don't have full control...
  13. Is Your Pig Ready For the Stage? (Part Two)

    In part two of this article, I\'m going to discuss ways of training your pig to do certain tricks for the show circuit, but teaching them is more than simply impressing attendees and judges. Not only will you get plenty of attention with your well-disciplined pig, but you\'ll also have a chance to bond and properly train your pig for off-stage life. There are hurdles when it comes to training pigs, since they have short attention spans, but they are smart, they remember things, and you can...
  14. Is Your Pig Ready For The Stage? (Part One)

    Think your pig has what it takes to make it in the show world? Training any animal for show purposes can be controversial because of the stress involved when it comes to the show and training, but it doesn't have to be, if the training is fun for the animal. Reward the animal with treats, and spend intimate time with them by touching and rubbing their bellies. You want your pig to be as comfortable as possible. Whether your training a dog, pig or goat, training sessions should always be an...
  15. Thinking of Getting a Pig? (Part One)

    It's a shame society mostly views the pig as nothing more than a slab of meat on a plate, because pigs are intelligent animals that are curious, friendly and playful. Pig have personalities, just like dogs and cats, and they can be a wonderful addition to your home or land. There are different reasons why owners keep pet pigs, such as breeding, or to have one as a companion in the home. If you're thinking about pig ownership for the home, consider a smaller pet breed like a pot-bellied, mini...
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