March 16, 2011 at 12:27 am #16403
My sow just had her fourth litter, with only one piglet in it. She did this last spring, as well. Her first and third litters had 6 and 7 piglets, respectively. My veterinarian is at a loss as to what might be happening, other than in-breeding. Has anyone else seen single piglet litters and, if yes, found a cause? EdMarch 16, 2011 at 5:43 am #17327
Ed, it could be a lot of things. How’s your boar? Has he sired other litters? How long was she exposed to him? Was she under any stress during pregnancy (extreme temps, bad weather)? Did you see her give birth? Were there any still born? Did she get as large as she did when she had a full litter? Do you vaccinate?March 20, 2011 at 9:08 am #17334Member: MO chhogsParticipant
I know some folks believe that inbreeding causes small litters. I’m sure it can but I don’t believe that it does as much as folks think. We have down some very high inbreeding matings & had excellent results. What is the history of the parents of this sow? I know for sheep farmers, any ewe that has only one lamb is normally culled the next year. IMO there is not enough culling going on in the Large Blacks. Now I am not advocating that every time a sow has a small litter to cull her – give her another chance BUT if this happens again then I would seriously consider it not only for the genetics of the breed but also the cost. To feed one sow for just one piglet produces one VERY expensive piglet.
We had a GOS pig produce us 3 dead & 1 live piglet earlier this year. We took the one piglet off of her, were not going to waste extra feed for 8 weeks. She has one more chance to do better otherwise she will be sausage.
I have also heard that feed can be an issue – can’t remember the name of that mold that can cause problems in pregnancy? SO as Kelly said above, there could be other reasons too. Do you have other LB sows to compare her to?
Just my 2c
LizApril 26, 2012 at 7:25 am #17842
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