Articles from CathleenVought

  1. 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,...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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:...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
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