New Piglets Nursing

New Piglets Nursing

Piglets are popping. It’s that time of year. Along with more births the chickens have upped their egg production and soon I think we’ll start seeing duck and goose eggs. You wouldn’t know it’s spring from the fields, which are all still white, but the days are warming. Syrup time. Windows and doors are open in our tiny cottage. Winter will soon leave and trees will leaf too.

New posts you might have missed in the mess:
April Snows
Blog Updates April 2014
Firewood Borer
Exploding Dish of Color
Piglets Sunning
Hope’s Gore
South Field Winter Paddock
New Piglets Nursing
Piglet & Chicken Sunning

Outdoors: 40°F/24°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 64°F/61°F

Daily Spark: Did you hear they burned the English teacher? She was caught teaching spelling!

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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2 Responses to New Piglets Nursing

  1. Ben says:

    Hi Walter,
    We have an imminent farrowing and we are wondering how long after the piglets are born should we give them to latch on and nurse before we step in to assist? What should we expect just after birth and what should we be prepared for?

    This is our girls first farrowing.

    Thank you,
    Paradise In Progress Farms
    Fort Calhoun, NE

    • I’ve seen them latch on within five minutes (exception) and seen them take as long as 35 minutes and be just fine. If you have to intervene, mark that piglet as a feeder rather than a breeder so as to improve your herd genetics over time.

      During farrowing keep things calm and stay back. The sow needs quiet and privacy. She should go into a birthing trance which is induced by chemicals released during farrowing. She should just lay there, breathing and pushing. Piglets take care of themselves – the sow does nothing to help them. After she’s all done she will have passed both placentas, rarely a third. The first tends to come out about midway through the process. Then when she’s rested she’ll get up, eat the placentas, maybe get a drink of water and lay down again to rest and nurse the piglets. Not uncommon for her not to eat for a day or so.

      Most of all she needs calmness and privacy from other pigs and predators. An excited sow may trample piglets.

      See Piglet Interventions for more thoughts.

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