JHP Homestead Farrowing Thread - Now hand raising piglets!

JHP Homestead

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Our 1 year old Hereford gilt, Gert, is due June 15th with her first litter. Other than the 4 feeders we raised alongside her last year, she is our very first experience with pigs, so I’m very excited but also very nervous for her farrowing.

We moved Gert to her new stall in our barn last week in preparation for farrowing, and so we could start our garden, which was her previous home.

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We don’t have a farrowing crate, so we’re hoping she turns out to be a good mom and doesn’t squish the babies. The owner of Gert’s mom didn’t use crates and just had a creep area where the piglets could get away from mom, so we might put something like that in the corner of the stall. What do you guys think?

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JHP Homestead

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Today is Gert’s due date! She was looking pretty miserable when I checked on her a couple of hours ago. Not sure that she’s in labor or anything yet. If pigs are anything like horses or cows, it’ll probably still be days .
I hope not though. I’m so excited!
 

luvmypets

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I took this picture about half an hour ago. Her belly seems lower than it did before. She was wanting her supper so I guess she’s feeling a bit better than earlier.
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I say a few more days, but hey no pig is the same!

With her litter you should try socializing them as she allows. You may have to wait until they are weaned. All my piggies are super friendly, so it makes basic chores easier. All of my sows, except one(herd queen Prissy) let me in with their piglets as Ive gained their trust. It really helps if I think one may be sick or injured. Instead of having to dance around an aggressive mom I walk in pat the sow on the forehead and examine her babies(normally I just take a ton of photos). I don’t know how many pigs you plan on raising but if you are breeding you want the mums to trust you. I had to pull my first piglet from the birth canal a few months ago, the sow knew me and although she was in distress she let me in her space to help her. You never know when an emergency may occur so having calm animals in those scenarios is always a must. :)

Also if she trust you enough she will allow you to express milk. Most websites say milk means babes will arrive in 12-24 hours but for my girls its more around 7-10 days.

Good luck for your girly! Praying for a great first time sow!
 

JHP Homestead

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No nesting yet. I gave her more straw today so she has plenty when she does decide to nest.

She’s not really friendly. She’ll come up to me and check me out, but doesn’t want to be pet unless she’s eating.

Here’s a little bit better picture of her belly. I think she looks like she still has a ways to go. Please excuse the mud, it’s been ridiculously rainy here.
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luvmypets

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They are quite large for a first time sow, I'm truly sorry you had to cull her. Did you find out how many she had left and how big the rest were? I hope these little angels can grow up big and strong for you. The one thing I have found is it can be difficult for the babes to figure out nursing at first but once they do they figure out their feeding schedule and get very demanding.

My profile picture is my first bottle baby Lucy, I pulled her at six days old so she had already been started on her mother's milk, however she hadn't eaten much in that time due to competition with her 10 siblings. The good thing is she was very hungry so at that point she was trying to find milk from everything around her. I used that to my advantage and taught her how to pan feed within an hour. It looks like your brood has figured out that the bowl of the white stuff is food. Easy way to tell if they have eaten is their muzzles will be covered in milk.

I did try to bottle feed another piglet but she passed at two weeks. I could never get her to pan feed and she never gained weight so I think there was something else wrong there.

I wish you the best of luck with these cuties! :hugs
 

JHP Homestead

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I believe it's just piglet pellets I think when we fed our we got it from tractor supply.
Thanks for the response! My local tractor supply only stocks the 15% grower/finisher pig feed but DH contacted a couple of feed mills in the area and found a pig starter that was (I think) 18% protein.

The piglets are doing great! Growing fast and healthy.
 
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