June 12, 2016 at 10:28 pm #21448
I’ve had Large Blacks for just over a year and am now expecting my first two litters…one next week and a second 10 days or so later. I need some questions answered ASAP.
The information I have gleaned from the web and a few conversations tells me weaning should be at about 25 days. First, is this right, and second, how do I wean? I assume I don’t just automatically pull the piglets off mom on the 25th day and expect them to go straight to feed and water, but just how do I transition them from mom’s milk to pig feed? When do I start making feed available to the piglets? I have two farrowing pens built, with farrowing huts built in them. How do I get feed to the piglets (when its time) without mom getting their feed? Let mom out of the pen at feeding time, then let her back in?June 13, 2016 at 7:15 am #21449
We never wean that early. We wean no earlier than 6 weeks and usually go a full 8 weeks. The transition off mom starts several weeks earlier when you will notice the piglets enjoying the meal w mom. When it is time to wean we lead mom away w feed to her breeding lot and then release the piglets to another pasture.June 13, 2016 at 7:28 am #21450
Thanks, Al. So…just feed mom and let mom feed the piglets and watch for when the piglets start sharing in the feed put out for mon. Cool…that’s easy. And don’t pull mom until at least 6 weeks.
Next question: What is the earliest I should be notching their ears? I figure the earlier the better as the bigger/stronger they are the harder they will be to handle, but I don’t want them to be so young/small that the notching is too big a shock.
Same question regarding castration.June 13, 2016 at 10:10 am #21451
Yeah I notch and castrate at around 7 days old, easy to hold at this age, not big shock to them (wear earplugs). they will be off an running shortly after putting them back w mom. I spray notches and castration area with Barrier II Wound Care Spray with Lidocaine for Pain Relief when I finishJune 14, 2016 at 8:33 am #21452
Thanks again, Al. BTW…don’t think you are off the hook with those two answers. I’m sure I will have a TON more over the next few weeks!…LOLJune 14, 2016 at 11:24 am #21453
New question…didn’t take long, did it Al?…
My two preggers gals cannot have been pregnant before March 5. That is when I brought the boar onto the property. One day later I saw him ATTEMPTING to mount one of the gals. I say attempting because he was old enough to do his job (born August 8, 2016) but was considerably smaller…150 lbs or so and the gilt was about 325. BIG size difference. I didn’t think he could “get there”, but the next day I observed the gilt had a slightly swollen vulva (at least to my inexperienced eyes) and there appeared to be a thin line of semen oozing out of her. A week later the same thing happened with the other gilt.
All of that background to ask this:
Going by the three month. three week, three daay gestation estimate, the first would be due June 29th or shortly thereafter, with the second following about a week later. The first’s milk hasn’t dropped, but she seems to be bagging, and the second has somewhat more pronounced nipples over the last week.
So they don’t farrow in the field, how long before the estimated due dat should I confine them to their farrowing pens? They’ll have a good bit of room…the pens are 10×16 each with 10×8 farrowing huts in them…but it will still be confining compared to the forage area they have had to roam in and have gotten used to.
Is now…two weeks ahead of the first’s due date…too soon? Should I wait another week? 10 days? I don’t want to stress them, but I don’t want them farrowing out in the woods either.
If it matters, this is each of the gaals first litter.June 14, 2016 at 11:40 am #21454
we pull our girls up 4-7 days before the earliest due date. Doubt they would be stressed in the short term but after an extended period of being up in a pen they may be. dont worry about the size difference they will get the job accomplished.June 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm #21455
As I said above, the farrowing pens are about 10×16 with quonset style farrowing huts that are about 8×10. Cureently there is no barrier across the hut’s opening to keep the piglets in when they get old enough to wander about.
Do I rely on mom to keep them in place where they belong, or do I put some sort of barrier across the hut entrance that mom can step over but the piglets cannot? If the latter, how tall of a barrier?June 19, 2016 at 4:02 pm #21464Member: Maine Thomas BarryParticipant
We separate our sows about a week before farrowing with nose-to-nose contact through hog panels with each other.
We have never had a barrier in the doors of our huts and the piglets come out when they are ready. We have had trouble with pigs getting back into the huts though, so make sure the jump up isn’t too high or there is hay or something to get up into the house (our huts are off the ground with built in floors because of our northern climate).
We castrate at 7-10 days old and ear notch at the same time. There are plenty of youtube videos talking about that. King bird farm out of NY has great videos about swine care in a nonconfinement type operation. THey raise Tamworths, but similar concepts all around.June 20, 2016 at 6:04 am #21465
Thanks for the answers Thomas, and thanks for the point to the King Bird Farm videos.