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Smaller pigs may have to go. American Guinea Hog problems

 
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So I've been fighting eye infections in half our guinea hogs. I've noticed it's only the smaller two females and their offspring. I've also noticed that it certainly seems to be linked to grass seeds getting stuck in their eyes. I figure there are a few factors contributing here.

1) These two sows are really hairy compared to our other, larger pigs.
2) they are obviously closer to the ground which seems to get more grass in their face.

The issue here being that our larger sow has had 2 failed farrowings. So keeping her in the hopes we get piglets out of her seems foolish. The other two sows have both had successful first farrowings and thus seem better breeding candidates.

I'm obviously thinking we need to purge the smaller two sows and all of their offspring. Selling the offspring and eating the sows.

We only have 3 sows and 1 boar btw. Just for some context here. They are all american guinea hogs but there is a really big size difference between the 2 smaller ones. Pics attached.


67317215_10157381474033633_2788424533864873984_n.jpg
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Larger sow with 2 smaller sows
 
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Oof.  Two failed farrows.  Is that like... all her piglets died after birth?  Were born dead?  She had really bad/slow/painful delivery?  Or just didn't conceive?

Do you know the age difference between the three?  And what breed standard is?  Do you know for certain they're purebred?   If they're cut with any other genes to any degree it could definitely influence the adult size.   Not that that really matters, but it's just a consideration.

The eye infections are strange.  One might not be getting into those grass seeds, possibly because she's less hairy, or maybe because she's smarter.  Some dogs learn to avoid cockle burs, other dogs remain totally oblivious that certain plants produce them.  I personally wouldn't cull the only 2 producing sows of the three.  Chances are the big sow will not produce, and if she does, won't produce well.  Maybe keep the best daughters of the sows and then cull them?  Some folks are okay with line breeding, others aren't.  To each their own.  I know it works great for chickens!  But chickens aren't pigs....  But, if you like your boar and his qualities, line breeding may strengthen those genes.  Just a thought.
 
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I know more work is the last thing you need, but maybe weedwacking the high grass for a while might a) make it 100% proven that it is the grass seed and 2) buy you some more time to figure out what to do (and for eyes to heal, etc)?
 
elle sagenev
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Jen Fan wrote:Oof.  Two failed farrows.  Is that like... all her piglets died after birth?  Were born dead?  She had really bad/slow/painful delivery?  Or just didn't conceive?

Do you know the age difference between the three?  And what breed standard is?  Do you know for certain they're purebred?   If they're cut with any other genes to any degree it could definitely influence the adult size.   Not that that really matters, but it's just a consideration.

The eye infections are strange.  One might not be getting into those grass seeds, possibly because she's less hairy, or maybe because she's smarter.  Some dogs learn to avoid cockle burs, other dogs remain totally oblivious that certain plants produce them.  I personally wouldn't cull the only 2 producing sows of the three.  Chances are the big sow will not produce, and if she does, won't produce well.  Maybe keep the best daughters of the sows and then cull them?  Some folks are okay with line breeding, others aren't.  To each their own.  I know it works great for chickens!  But chickens aren't pigs....  But, if you like your boar and his qualities, line breeding may strengthen those genes.  Just a thought.



I suppose I'm being unfair to my older sow. Before we had the boar in with the sows 24/7.  I suppose because I'm super stupid and assumed all would go well. She farrowed twice, both times during freak cold snaps. The first farrow she did get really sick. I tried to keep the piglets alive but didn't succeed. The second farrowing I thought she was pregnant but no one else agreed with me. I had her in the barn just in case but since every single pig person I talked to and who looked at her thought she was just fat I wasn't keeping great track of her. She had 8 piglets and all were frozen to death when I found them in the morning. We have since learned and our boar is separated from the sows so we can control what months they have piglets. Basic stuff I was too stupid to do before.

I did buy my larger two from a breeder in CO and my shorter two from someone closer to me. Both breeders said for an additional cost they could register them. I didn't really care about that and declined to have them registered. So maybe they aren't pure bred but I imagine they have to be pretty close to be register-able.

I love our boar. Not gonna lie. He's massive. Takes great care of the ladies (you should see how terrified our dogs are of him) and he's amazing with my children. His temperament is perfect I think. I don't know that I feel comfortable breeding his offspring to him though. I always planned to keep breeders from the last litter of my sows and then get a new boar. The original plan being to breed each for 3 years and then slaughter them.
 
elle sagenev
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Tereza Okava wrote:I know more work is the last thing you need, but maybe weedwacking the high grass for a while might a) make it 100% proven that it is the grass seed and 2) buy you some more time to figure out what to do (and for eyes to heal, etc)?



It's cheat grass that's the big problem and it's intermixed with all my good fields. I don't know that I could weed wack all 40 acres.
 
elle sagenev
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Cynthia Rink wrote:Cute animals) Not all of people like them. But they are not so ugly. As part of them thinks.



I find them smart, delightful animals for sure!
Baby-and-the-Boar.jpg
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Tereza Okava
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elle sagenev wrote:
It's cheat grass that's the big problem and it's intermixed with all my good fields. I don't know that I could weed wack all 40 acres.


Oh yikes! I was thinking they were in a pen.
 
elle sagenev
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Tereza Okava wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:
It's cheat grass that's the big problem and it's intermixed with all my good fields. I don't know that I could weed wack all 40 acres.


Oh yikes! I was thinking they were in a pen.



I'm WEIRD. I free range my pigs. HA! Where I am the only real food available is on our property. Years of free ranging and my pigs have never wandered off our property. I do have a fenced pen. I put them in it now but then I have to feed them. I don't normally feed them. Well I do, because I planted acres of seeds so they'd have food, but I don't feed them any bagged feed while they are ranging. So having them penned up because of the grass seeds and the eye infections costs us a lot more money.
 
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