Piglet Peeking

Ben bottle feeding piglet – Sirus and Romula supervising

Piglet fix for people in need… Bottle raising piglets is very hard. Piglets need to be fed about every two hours, around the clock for the first few days to a week. Then they’ll start eating out of a tray. Getting colostrum that first day or two is critical. Keeping fluids in them is critical. Keeping them warm is critical. Sows are much better at this job than humans. If at all possible it is better to graft a piglet onto another sow.

Romula, the young puppy in the picture did her first pig herding today – rounding up five pigs, holding, cutting. Impressive given that she is so young. The instincts are strong with young Romula.

Today was a fun date: 20110111.
Yesterday was: 20110110.
Tomorrow is: 20110112.
This year is going to be full of them.

Outdoors: 21°F/9°F Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/65°F

Daily Spark: Politics: Poly-tics = many bloodsucking parasites

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Piglet Peeking

  1. Mel says:

    Ooh, a puppy fix too! Is Romula from Lili and Kavi again, or did you breed a different pair this time?

    I’d love to have dogs like yours some day, but until I have a farm to keep them busy I’ll stick with the couch potato variety. (Here in the suburbs the shelters have no shortage of good dogs to choose from. Especially if the words ‘pit mix’ don’t scare you.)

  2. Beth says:

    Ahh, every two hours is very demanding! I learned from bottle feeding goat kids when very pregnant that let down is an equal opportunity employer. TMI, but it was relaxing. Anyway, why did you have to take this one in?

  3. Marie says:

    Piglet and Puppy – what a great start to the morning!

  4. Margaret says:

    Hi. My question is about bottle feeding a piglet. I have a one week old piglet who has been feeding fine on her mama and growing well, but has an ugly wound from being stepped on as a newborn. It looks like she needs the wound to be covered to keep flies and dirt out of it. It will probably need daily cleaning for awhile as well. The mother is protective and got aggressive when we removed the piglet for treatment. I’m wondering if it’s better to keep this piglet separate and try to bottle-feed it while we’re treating the wound, or if it’s better for the piglet and the sow if we attempt to remove it daily (which I think will become increasingly difficult the more we do it) for cleaning and re-dressing. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Margaret Rieser
    Tamworth NH

    • If it has had three days to get colostrum then you could take it and tend to it. Doing so is a [i]lot[/i] of work. Do not get hurt by the sow.

      I would examine it, perhaps dress the wound with bacitracin or the like, paint it with iodine (the good old stuff, not the modern, weak, government regulated stuff) and give it a day of hand feeding. Leave the wound open to the air. It needs to harden and dry up. Then put it back with the mother as soon as you feel comfortable doing so.

  5. Jamie says:

    Hi Walter-
    What did you feed your bottle pig? some sort of milk replacer or goat milk?

    • It has varied. When we have it the ideal is sow’s milk. Milking a pig is much like milking a cow or a goat. At the very least if you can get some real colostrum from the sow for the first couple of days that helps a lot.

      When sow’s colostrum and milk weren’t available we made a mix of milk (sometimes condensed, sometimes whole), yogurt, cod liver oil, a ground up vitamin pill, raw egg, sugar and garlic powder.

      I have read that goat’s milk can be good due to the small fat particles but we don’t have goats. We sometimes have sheep which might be similar. Once we had to bottle raise

      You can also get commercial milk and colostrum replacements. They won’t be as good as the real thing but it might work to save a little pig’s life.

      Hand feeding piglets is very difficult. They need feeding every couple of hours 24-hours a day. If you have multiple people you can work shifts. If you get them through the first two days they may do fine. After a few more days they can eat out of a dish. If they’re having to be hand raised they also need heat. The sow is 103°F and keeps them warm. A large bottle of 103°F in their box gives them something warm to snuggle up to. Putting the piglet in a sock can help. Good luck.

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