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how an what to hand feed piglets??? urgent

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by spish, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

    Apr 7, 2010
    im in a bit of a situation here... our newest addition to the mini pig tribe had piglets on april 1st. we didnt know she was even pregnant (she must have been decked before we bought her)

    anyhow she had 7 piglets (1 dead 6 alive)

    we lost another shortly after birth, then another on the 2nd and another yesterday. ive just got home from work and can only count 3 piglets, another is gone but i cant find any body or sign of it. before i left for work 6 hours ago all four were happilly exploring (wobbily) with mama. i dont understand why were losing them?
    the local farmer has suggested mom may not have any milk and they are starving. i havent seen them nurse. but surely after 3 days they'd all be dead if theyd had nothing?

    he suggested i take the last 3 remaining pigleets away from mum and hand feed them. he told me just to wet the pellets the mum eats until they are liquified and syringe feed them every 2 hours as much as they'd eat. and to keep them under a heat lamp.

    now ive had to handfeed a piglet before, but she was 2 weeks old already and feeding piglet pellets herself with the odd suppliment feed from me.

    never have i handfed piglets so young.

    im looking for anyone with any experience that could tell me if this is good info or not? as far as i know the farmer doesnt keep pigs, just chickens and cows....

    ive left a message on the 'localest' vets answer machine begging for info but i really need so info asap!

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

  2. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter Songster

    Nov 4, 2009
    I've got a litter born the same day. Mom is not careful and will squish them, and most sows will then "clean-up" a dead piglet. Or honestly, once the tiny thing is flat, you won't know it's there until you entirely clean out the pen.
    You'll lose them for lots of reasons. They separate and get chilled, they can get out through very tiny spaces, but mostly the mother accidentally crushes them.

    So that wouldn't happen, we pulled the piglets at birth. Once she was done, we put them all on her to nurse - now I go out and do that every 4 hours (heading out in just another minute in fact) She's not as friendly as my own sow (she belongs to a friend who's keeping her here) but a rub on the belly will get her to lie down and roll over, then we put the babies on her. When they start to fall asleep or hunt different teats but keep switching after a second, they go back into the boxed off area of her pen, they are safe from being stepped on and they all sleep till next time.

    To complicate things, there is a runt, who needs a little extra feeding. I actually milked his mother a few times for his between nursing feedings - it's not easy or fun, but if she's lying there nursing all of them and you're hovering in case she rolls you can milk with 2 fingers and a tiny percentage will actually go into the baby food jar.
    But he's gotten his colostrum, so now it's warmed cow's milk. I'd use goats milk if I had it. And he's doing ok and learning to suck from the dropper. So I'd say milk, and milk-soaked feed once they're old enough to go for it. But first I'd try just pulling them from mom and bringing them out every few hours to nurse and see if that does the trick. By the time they're 3 weeks old they can run around well enough to avoid her when she lies down.

    BTW, poor mothering is partaily taught and partially genetic. Either way I'd cull the sow and not keep a replacement from her. My friend gave this sow a couple of chances but this is her last one - she has not improved at all, just a lot of work.
  3. andbab

    andbab Songster

    Could be iron deficiency. They will scream their bloody little heads off while you are trying to help them so be ready for that. Your farmer friend gave you decent advise, worth a try. Make sure to watch them for diarrhea

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