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Help! My sow farrowed in the woods

 
Marilyn Plowman
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My sow farrowed in the woods yesterday. There were 13 piglets when I left to go to bed. Today it is raining on and off. What should I do? Should I try to erect a shelter for them where they are? If I do that, I am afraid piglets my wonder off. There are 5 other pigs in the woods also. The are is surrounded by electric fence. This is her second litter. For the first, the piglets arrived in the barn with the boar sleeping in the same pen. That was in January and I lost 3 piglets to the cold. Someone suggested that I should pile the piglet in a container and bring them to the barn and that the sow would follow. Is that possible? I hope someone gives me some advice. I am really new at this.
 
Renate Howard
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If they holler the sow may do more than just follow!

What's the temperature there? If she's made a nest for them and it's fairly warm there they may be ok.

Does she have 13 teats? If less, then some may not be able to nurse and you may lose some unless you can graft them onto another sow with a smaller litter.

I don't think they'll wander off - they'll stay with their mom or near the nest, most likely.
 
matt dee
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My uncle said ( when i asked about breeding pigs) that if a sow gets shocked ( by an electric fence) they more often than not lose the piglets
from his own experience
Might be a special case
But still its something to think about^_^
 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Marilyn Plowman wrote:Someone suggested that I should pile the piglet in a container and bring them to the barn and that the sow would follow.


Maybe she will, more likely she won't. Sows are very strongly homed to the nest location. You might need to herd her. Two people with sorting boards in addition to the person with the piglets may be able to do it. See picture at:

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/2013/07/03/moving-sowth/

We have a lot of sows and they farrow fine out on pasture, in the brush, in the woods. Rain's not a big deal to them as long as their nest is not ill placed in a flooding place. They tend to build nests in spots that drain on a slope. But then just about all of our land is sloped...

matt dee wrote:My uncle said ( when i asked about breeding pigs) that if a sow gets shocked ( by an electric fence) they more often than not lose the piglets
from his own experience


Never seen this happen in thousands of times. Myth.
 
matt dee
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True or not i don't know^_^ Could have been a cautionary tale for my own sake
 
Renate Howard
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Hey Marilyn - how are they doing? Do you still have all 13?
 
Renate Howard
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I was asking because my sow farrowed yesterday in the pasture and the babies weren't staying together! Some were wandering off to dip in the mud, some were seeking shade under large-leafed weeds, some were next to the fence in the shade. Then it got cold and started to rain and tho I thought there were 7 I could only find 6! 2 were under the edge of the swimming pool, 1 was by the fence (very still and cold!), 3 were buried in the nest, and 1 I never did find, tho I looked everywhere I could think! The mother was distressed because she was calling them and they weren't answering or coming so I went in and started taking them to her as I found them, which she was happy with, tho they got me very muddy!

This morning all 7 were in the nest, staying together, and looking lively.

Some biologist did a study where he dipped baby rats in cold water and found that the grew to a larger adult size than their litter mates who weren't chilled as babies. So maybe getting chilled in a cool rain will make my pigs grow bigger? LOL!
 
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