January 19, 2011 at 2:22 am #16364
Thought I would get some tips from other breeders. I plan on farrowing in a large steel building with no heat. I use to work for a farmer that built a series of runs with small shelters and heat lamps in them for the piglets. The sow stayed out front in a small run. Is it worth the trouble of building boxs and small runs? Or just provide an area where the sow cannot get to with a heat lamp. Then deep bed them? Any ideas would be great!
Brett DayJanuary 19, 2011 at 8:06 am #17228Member: MO
I’m pretty sure everyone is going to have a different answer for you so you should get loads of ideas. I think some of how you farrow in winter really depends on where you are located. We are in southern MO where the winter temps have gotten down to 6F so far. We do not use any heat lamps here. Yes we do lose some piglets but we believe in breeding hardy pigs. Survival of the fittest. And no that is not cruel – that is how nature works & it creates a stronger next generation. Our shelters are very basic. Two of our gilts farrowed in hay shelters on New Year – 2 square bales long by 1 sq bale wide with a piece of ply on top for shelter. Hay is inside – piglets have done great as they access to natural sunlight which really helps. The mamas should make the nest for their babies if you give them the hay to do it. Another gilt farrowed in the barn on the coldest morning of the year – she had 7, 4 survived & those little piggies are fat & full & thriving.
We do not build boxes here – piglets need to be able to get out in the sunshine – natural heat is very important. If we are going to separate the sows out from the other sows we use the Electric netting to make a temporary pasture/run. Once 2-3 weeks old we take it down & let them all mix together. Piglets can go through the netting anyways.
All the best whichever method you choose.
Liz – MissouriJanuary 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm #17232
I think you have a very good plan, Brett. Also add a creep feeder or spill some feed for the piglets.April 26, 2012 at 7:56 am #17862
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