Did you know that piglets are born with little slippers over their nails?
Sometimes called slippers, or thimbles, piglets are born with pliable covers over their nails. These are meant to prevent injury to the sow while the piglets are in utero. After they are born the little slippers usually wear down or fall off within ten minutes or so as the piglets scramble around.
Other than a curiosity that many are not aware of, these slippers can be very useful to diagnose stillbirths. If they are still attached then it is likely that the piglet was stillborn or died very soon after birth. If they are not present, usually that means that the piglet lived long enough to wear them down.
Just another interesting fact to add to your toolbox!
– by Brian Wright
Copyright © 2010 Homegrown Acres. Used with permission.