Tag Archives: Pig

How Long Does It Take For A Pig To Have Babies?

How long does it take for a pig to have babies

Childbirth is one of the natural things of all living things on Earth to maintain their species. Each animal species, including humans, has its own unique and distinctive way of giving birth as well as the pregnancy period. As one of the most familiar animals to humans, especially farmers, how long does it take for a pig to have babies?

How long does it take for a pig to have babies?

The whole pregnancy period of a pig from conception to childbirth can take more than 10 months. Specifically, the gestation period of a pig follows a rule called “The Rule of Three” – 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. A well-fed female pig can give birth to at least 10 piglets from each pregnancy and can deliver 2 litters per year.

A pig’s breeding period can be any time of the year, however, pigs can become infertile in the warmer months. Female pigs that are healthy and well-bred can give birth safely twice a year. However, some say that they can be ready to mate about a week after the piglets are weaned.

To safely breeding the pigs on the farm, farmers need to carefully observe the physical condition and health of their pigs, then prepare the facilities in advance to ensure safety and convenience for pigs to give birth.

Pig production cycle

There are 6 stages in the pig production cycle.

Breeding period

When female pigs reach puberty from 10–30 days, they will be introduced to boars around 25–28 weeks old. This is how the farmer determines if she is in heat or not. After that, the female pigs will be spontaneously mated with boars or inseminated artificially. It is considered responsible for animal welfare and a good way of animal treatment.

pig in heat

Gestation period

After being mated, the female pigs will be moved to the pregnant area of the pig barn. They will stay there for about 116 days of the pregnancy period. To ensure a comfortable pregnancy for the pig, the farmer must always make sure that the pig’s dwellings are clean and disinfected.

pig in pregnant

Birth giving

About a week before farrowing, they are transferred to the farrowing barn. In order for pigs to give birth safely, farmers need to thoroughly clean the breeding barn, and keep it clean, then wash pregnant female pigs with mild detergents and warm water before she goes to the barn for birth.

pig giving birth

Lactation period

The sows nurse the piglets for about 3-5 weeks in the farrowing area.

Weaning period

When the piglets are weaned, the sows are brought back to the pigpen area and the piglets are moved to a weaner place.

Growing period

Depending on the needs of the farms, growing pigs can be moved to a pig nurturing area on the same farm or another facility.

How to take care of the piglets?

Sometimes the number of piglets born after the birthing period of sows on the farm is very large. For that reason, the pig farmer needs certain skills to ensure the comprehensive development of the piglets.

Breastfeed is essential for piglets as soon as they are born, especially in the first hour after birth. However, if a sow dies during farrowing, the piglets can be raised by other sows.

If the sow dies and there is no foster mother, the farmer can choose to manually feed the piglets. To hand feed piglets, a farmer needs to follow these instructions:

  • Prepare a cleaned bottle with nipple for piglets to drink milk
  • Arrange a clean dry and warm box for newborn piglets so that they can stay in a warm place
  • Set feeding time for the piglets regularly every 1-2 hours.
  • Farmers can replace sow’s colostrum with cow’s colostrum as it contains the nutrients suitable for piglets.

The gestation period of a pig is the most important and dangerous time for female pigs. Without the care and well-prepared birthing facilities of the farmers, the sows could lose their lives due to the harsh birthing process and the piglets may not be born. This easily leads to a loss of the farmer’s revenue to offset the costs of livestock.

How Long Can A Pig Live?

How Long Can A Pig Live

Pigs are known as one of the most intelligent and social animals in the world. So, how long can a pig live? How long can this animal be your companion? Are there any ways to increase their lifespan? Well, you have the answers in this article.

How long can a pig live?

A well-cared pig can have an average life expectancy of 15 to 18 years, estimates range to more than 20 years whereas the lifespan of a wild pig is only 4 to 8 years on average.

Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs

They were the first domesticated pets in Southeast Asia and have gained popularity in the U.S for a long time. If it receives proper nutrition and medical care, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig can live for 20 years or beyond.

Oscar was crown by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest pig. He died in 2010 when he was 21 years and 13 days old.

Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs

Wild pigs

Wild pigs originated in Eurasia and were brought across the Atlantic to North America by Spanish explorers more than 400 years ago. Wild pigs that have bred and hybridized with domestic pigs are termed “feral.”

A wild pig can expect to live up to 20 years. Due to high mortality rates from predation, their average life expectancy ranges only from 4 to 8 years.

Farmed pigs

If a pig is intended as food animal, it is raised from 6 to 7 months to reach the market weight of 250 pounds. If for breeding, pigs will stay on the farm around 1.5 years longer.

If you release farmed pigs, they can have a tendency to live to their full lifespan of 20 years.

Furthermore, they will likely double or triple in size over the next several years. Most full-grown sows reach a weight of over 500 pounds while mature boars may easily weigh in excess of 1,000.

Caring pigs for longer life

Below are some essential ways to help you taking care of your pigs effectively.

Pigpen

There is no need to raise pigs indoor. An environmentally controlled area with heat, cooling, and adequate air exchange hourly is the perfect environment to raise them.

Remember to provide your pigs with a shelter system that can give them shade in the summer and protect them from rain or snow.

The space requirement depends on the number and the age of pigs. A pregnant sow should have a farrowing crate to avoid lying on her newborn pigs. For growing pigs, provide them with a minimum space of 3 square feet per 30-40 pounds piglets while it is recommended that the pigpen should increase to 4 square feet for those weight 40-100 pounds. Pigs of over 150 pounds weight should have at least 6 square feet of space.

Feed intake

optimal feed take

Source: https://www.pig333.com/

Nutrition feeding and rations also vary with the stages of growth. The dietary vitamin level for starter, grower, finisher and gestation or lactation is 20%, 16%, 14%, and 12-15% respectively. If constipation happens during lactation, add magnesium sulfate or potassium chloride to the sow’s diet.

According to some studies, in feeding growing pigs, a ration with pellets or a coarsely ground diet will have a better gain and fewer stomach ulcers compared to a finely ground feed.

Portable water must always be available to your pigs. If the water runs out, slowly add small amounts of water every 30 minutes until the pigs fulfill their needs. It normally takes 4 to 6 hours for them to rehydrates but regular testing of the water helps to minimize diseases and health-related issues.

Sanitation

It is suggested to clip the needle (canine) and give them an iron injection at 1 – 3 days of age. When the piglets are 2 weeks old, they can be fed a pre-starter diet containing milk products before weaning.

In general, pigs are castrated at about one week old. Castration should be done at an early age, preferably at a week before weaning and no later than 1 month of age. Moreover, ear notching and tail docking should be done before 1 week old in order to prevent cannibalism.

Vaccinations for pigs

Vaccinations for pigs

It is advised that vaccinations of the piglets can start at 4-6 weeks old. Vaccines commonly used on pig farms include actinobacillus, circovirus, histophilus, erysipelas, parvovirus, mycoplasma, salmonella, pseudorabies, and clostridial diseases. Several weeks before farrowing, the mother needs to be given TGE, escherichia coli, clostridium perfringens.

Always be mindful that each herd can have individual vaccination requirements. Read the label carefully and seek advice from the vet before medicating any pig.

Conclusion

I hope that you will no longer wonder how long a pig can live after reading the article. As you can see, the potential maximum life span of pigs is much longer than their production age. In addition, some beneficial information above can help to raise and manage them better to achieve your production goals.

What Do Baby Pigs Eat?

what can baby pigs eat

A nutritious diet with a balanced ration for any pig is a must to achieve its potential growth and optimize your profitability. So, what do baby pigs eat? This question must be seriously taken care of as a baby pig’s health will lay a foundation for its development later. Let’s find out the answer in the following post.

What do baby pigs eat?

Newborn piglets need colostrum from the sow. As piglets are born without any immune protection, colostrum is the only way to protect them in this critical phase. Colostrum contains a rich source of highly digestible nutrients and natural growth factors for the normal development of vital life-sustaining organs.

If newborn piglets do not receive enough colostrum from the sow, the chance of survival is not high.

If porcine colostrum is unavailable, goat milk can be the substitute. Milk replacer needs to be in good condition and remember to discard any milk replacer that you do not use within 12 hours. Make sure to warm the milk to above human body temperature, like a baby human’s bottle.

You can feed baby pigs with an eyedropper while they receive colostrum. When newborn piglets start drinking replacer, you can switch to a bottle or put the liquid in a flat dish.

According to the Oregon State University Extension Service website, newborn piglets nurse about 15 times in their first day of life, and each nursing episode lasts roughly five minutes.

During the first 7 days, piglets need feeding every 3 to 4 hours. When they are 2 weeks old, you can feed them four times a day. At 3 weeks, start them on solid pig chow. Continue nursing them at least 3 times daily until they wean, after 1 or 2 months.

Taking care of baby pigs

Caring for piglets requires a higher degree of care and knowledge than other baby animals because they are born in large litters and very reliant on one another for warmth and friendship.

baby pig care

The first few weeks are important in laying the groundwork for pigs to have a healthy life. Below are some useful tips to help you ensure baby pigs’ health and wellbeing, aiming at decreasing early piglet mortality and increasing weaning weights.

Temperature control

Newborn pigs’ bodies contain little fat reserve and almost no hair. Therefore, they are extremely sensitive to cold weather and drafts, which can cause diarrhea, lymphadenitis, higher mortality, and even an increase in tail biting.

The ideal temperature for newborn pigs is at 95°F. You can reduce the temperature by 5° weekly until the pig is weaned. Gas or electric heaters, heat lamps, or heated floor mats are common heat devices in farrowing houses.

Don’t forget to check the sow’s temperature immediately after birth and every 12 hours of the first two or three days.

Nutrition intake

Receiving adequate colostrum and milk from the sow is crucial for piglets’ survival and long-term health. During the first 24 hours, they should nurse 15 times and receive his nutrition solely from the sow for his first 2 to 3 weeks. They should be nursed until 6 to 8 weeks old.

A newborn pig should eat a half-ounce of milk per feeding while a week-old piglet should consume 1 ounce at each feeding. Remember to feed them every four hours.

Sanitation

Provide adequate bedding from hay, straw, wood shavings, or shredded paper to keep your piglets stay healthy and comfortable.

Sanitation is also important. In addition to scrub the farrowing quarters with 2% of chlorine solution to eliminate dirt and bacteria, scrub the sow with soap and water to prevent her from spreading bacteria to her piglets.

Supplemental Iron

supplying iron to baby pig

Supplying iron to baby pig

After birth, dose the navel in iodine antiseptic to prevent infection and anemia. Newborn pigs require a great deal of this mineral since they are deficient in iron and do not receive enough this mineral from the sow milk.

Supplying uncontaminated soil in the pig area or a box of dirt for them to play in is another method of supplying iron. This is an easy way to help them receive adequate iron naturally in lieu of through an injection which has been known to cause diarrhea.

Conclusion

So, I guess you have already known what baby pigs eat as well as the importance of colostrum in surviving them. Taking care of baby pigs may require you more time and energy but I’m sure the result will deserve what you paid. Hope you all enjoy your time with your tiny yet cute piglets!