In this article, we will talk about ways to properly care for the sow during pregnancy, childbirth, and whether it is already breastfeeding piglets.
Proper sow care during pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation is necessary for your piggery business to be successful. If the sow is cared for properly, the piglets will remain healthy and vigorous from pregnancy until they are weaned. It will also serve as the foundation on how many times the sow can give birth without sacrificing her health and the farmer’s income. Here are the things you need to know about proper sow care to make your pig farming business successful.
Managing a pregnant sow before giving birth
If your sow is currently pregnant, read this article for the sow care guide needed to successfully conceive your pet.
Deworm your pig. If you think your sow has worms, it should be dewormed two weeks before it is transferred to the farrowing crate or farrowing pen. You also need to know if the animal has skin parasites and it needs to be treated a few days before being transferred to the farrowing crate or pen.
Preparing the place of birth. You need to thoroughly clean the area where the sow will give birth. Remove all perishable items including leftover food, leaves, manure, and so on. You also need to disinfect and freeze it for five to seven days before you move the sow that is about to give birth. Boiling water is an effective disinfectant. Pour it all over the pigsty when you have removed all the ones you need to remove.
Bathing the sow. Before you move on to the farrowing pen, you need to thoroughly wash the pig’s stomach and breasts with mild soap and lukewarm water. This will remove feces that may contain harmful bacteria that can bring diarrhea to the piglets. Do this as well to reduce the likelihood of the litter getting worms.
Feeding the sow. During the period before transferring the sow to the pen in which it is born, it should be fed no more than four to six pounds depending on the weather conditions in the type of pen in which she lives. It is better if the sow is fed food that helps to have proper bowel movements to prevent constipation. The sow should also always have water but avoid throwing it on the floor where the sow can slip and break her leg.
Caring the sow during delivery
Here are the things you need to know if you have already transferred your sow to the breed. Pay attention! This is the most serious stage of proper sow care!
Proper ventilation. You need to provide proper ventilation to the farrowing pen. If the weather is very hot, making a way for the pig to cool down will help the sow. Bathe the sow little by little so that she does not get hot. Pour water on the neck, shoulders, and abdomen if you notice that the sow is getting hot.
Find out when to give birth. The sow needs to be in the right place and at the right time in preparation for giving birth. So you should list the date when it was cast, count when it can give birth, and observe the signs of labor. This will help you prevent the sow from giving birth in the wrong place and not getting the right attention.
If you plan to breed your sow in a farrowing pen, it should be in the right place by the 110th day of pregnancy. In this way, the mother will get used to the place where she will give birth and how to take care of her before she gives birth. If you have not recorded the date of feeding the sow, you need to carefully observe the signs of the onset of labor every day.
The release of milk from the mother’s breasts is a sign that labor will begin within 24 hours. The milk may be gray the first time you notice it but will gradually turn white as the onset of the childbirth process approaches. The sow may become restless, afraid of it, try to get out of the cage, eat whatever is seen, urinate more often or try to make a nest.
The birth of the piglets. Proper care of the sow at the time of giving birth will help to prevent the death of the piglets during or some hours after giving birth. Help the piglets remove their navels. Be on the lookout for weak piglets as well. Newborn piglets are carefully cared for to prevent their death a few days after they are born.
Sow labor can last 30 minutes to over five hours. Piglets may emerge head first or hind legs first. Parts of the mother’s uterus should be removed several times as the litter continues to come out, but expect more to come out of the placenta before all the litter has been released. If there is litter in the nursery, you need to remove it immediately so that the litter is not suffocated.
The average release interval of litter is 15 minutes to several hours depending also on the sow. When the release of piglets is delayed, the likelihood of having dead piglets increases.
Helping a sow who is having difficulty giving birth. If you think the mother is having difficulty giving birth, prepare the necessities to help her. The constant urination of the sow but no piglets coming out is a sign that something is blocking the exit of the piglets. Wash the mother’s vagina well with soap. Wash your hands as well. Grab the sow’s vagina until you reach the litter. Gently pull the litter as far as you can until it comes out. Sometimes, the piglets are so large that it becomes a barrier to the sow’s vagina.
Breastfeeding newborn piglets. It is very important that each of the piglets drink colostrum from the sow. This will serve as their short-term resistance to infections. Support the piglets to breastfeed the by the mother especially if she is losing or weakening, there are so many piglets that there are piglets that are not given the opportunity to breastfeed or there are piglets that are deliberately weak.
Caring the sow after delivery
Here are guidelines for properly caring for a sow after she gives birth to her piglets.
Feeding the sow. The mother needs to be fed 12 to 24 hours after giving birth, but water needs to be given continuously. Two to three pounds (1.5 to 2kgs) is the initial feed that should be given to the mother and it will gradually increase as the sow’s strength returns. Feed her the usual amount of food 24 hours after giving birth. Sows that have lost weight need to be fed properly for her to recover.
Sows that suckle more piglets also need enough food for her to sustain breastfeeding. Pigs breastfeeding eight litters or less need to eat six pounds of food, and an additional half a pound per number of litters breastfed. There is no need to reduce the feed to the sow before weaning the piglets.
You need to help stand the sow two to three times daily. It will help her eat, drink and, defecate properly. It will also help you observe your sow. There are sows that need to be able to exercise outside of the farrowing pen.
Feeding the piglets. Sow’s milk does not contain enough iron for litter. So they need to be given an iron supplement for the first three or four days to prevent anemia. Consult your veterinarian for supplements that piglets need.
When the litter is a week old, you can then provide pre-starter feeds in the shallow feeding. This ratio contains 20% protein and will encourage the piglets to learn to eat.
Once they know how to eat, you can switch to starter feeds. Feed them a starter until the piglets reach 25 to 30 kilos. Then, you can switch to cheaper rations, grower feeds. Remember that they need clean water even if they have not yet started eating feeds.
Resistance to sow diseases. Regular observation is needed in sows a few days after giving birth. Weakness in eating, being lazy to act, and not breastfeeding properly in piglets are signs that you need to treat your pig with the disease. Treating these symptoms will help stave off MMA syndrome or Mastitis.
If the sow has mastitis, you need to immediately consult a veterinarian to cure this disease. Also, consult experts if you notice other symptoms of mother or piglets disease.
You have two options whether to raise your piglets or sell them. Either way, you can make a profit. The price of piglets depends on the season and the place where your piggery is located. Usually, the price ranges between P2,300 to as high as P3,500.
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