Thursday, February 25, 2016

Spring piglets - pictures

 Piglets on the ground right now.  The sows are given private stalls for the first three weeks, and then they're moved to a group housing situation with other sows and piglets about the same size.  The group-housed sows are given access to the fields and seem to like grazing for a portion every day.




of course, if you're going to go out and graze, the piglets will follow.  Pretty cute seeing them out there in a group.  The last two pictures are the same pigs.

2 comments:

kofi nti boateng said...

What is your average litter size. My outdoor pigs have low litters and im worried

Bruce King said...

Farrowing outdoors is pretty difficult for me too. I started trying to do farrowing outdoors, and then in small shelters I provided the pigs, and then finally started bringing the pregnant pigs into the barn to have their piglets because I lost too many if I left them in the field.

My pigs have an average of 12 piglets per litter, but I'm weaning 7 on average. The most common cause of mortality is the mother stepping on them or laying on them and crushing them. Some of the pigs are very good mothers; and for them I have found that farrowing pens are both comfortable for the pig and for the farmer. For pigs that aren't good mothers i put them into farrowing crates.

Farrowing crates will wean 2 to 3 more pigs on average for the bad mothers. I get the same results with good mothers in pens, but I can't tell which pigs will be good and which will not be until I start losing (or not losing...) piglets.

Industry uses farrowing crates as a standard, and does so to maximize the number of pigs weaned. Farrowing crates definitely save pig lives.