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New to breeding Pig, help needed

 
Sage marie
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I have a pig, she is pregnant, can feel piglettes moving and can hear hb's on doppler. Ive read and read til my eyes have crossed and think she is getting close to farrowing, but not sure. This is my first time birthing pigs, and her first time too. I have so many questions, looking for answers I am not sure can even be answered.
She was housed with the boar got them both when they were very young, she has always been extra friendly, lap pig and he is sweet but shy. They are now separated, but share a fence line so they can visit. Our girl has a 6 x 5 stall bedded and we have a barn cam on her so we can keep an eye out.
We do not know when she was bred, so no due date We do know that in the last several weeks her tummy has gotten MUCH larger being several inches off the ground to now dragging the ground. Her teats have gotten much bigger in the last couple of weeks, and has started an udder. Her vulva has started to get swollen and saggy. Still no milk, no nesting. She is breathing harded, due to a tummy full of piggies... We can see them move through her tummy now and they are kicking much harder than they were. She has even developed in the past 2 days a dark area around her nipples.

So with all these signs, we keep waiting and watching and hoping we can catch it to watch on camera. If she needs help we can, but we would like to just watch from the cam. From what ive read it seems she is close, but how close? days , weeks or a month?
 
John Polk
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Welcome to permies Sage.

It sounds like she is 'near'. One thing to watch out for in the nesting area is that sows frequently roll over on their piglets, squishing them. If you can leave them a nesting area next to hers, but small enough that she cannot fit in it. Perhaps remove the bottom board of the stall, and set a warm, cozy nest just outside of the stall.

Good luck.

 
Sage marie
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Thank you! We are going to set up a corner in the stall where they will have a heat lamp and an area to get in where she cant so they can be safe. We are waiting to put it in when she has them. The waiting would be a lot less difficult had we had a breeding date...Our bad! So now we have to go by signs, and having never has a pig farrow before I have no experience to fall back on. I guess we will have a breeding date when she farrows lol!

So when you say near are these signs you notice in the weeks or days before? I know you certainly cant give me a due date but any guess is appreciated
 
Jay Grace
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Ive never lost a piglet to them being squished by their momma. Only time I hear of this happening is when they are kept up in a pen and the momma can't get away from the piglets to find a spot to lay down.

She'll start nesting a few days before they are born that is a sure sign.
 
John Polk
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...when they are kept up in a pen and the momma can't get away from the piglets to find a spot to lay down.

Exactly. Momma needs a place to rest after the ordeal, and the piglets also need a place to rest. Space for both needs to be provided so that neither one is deprived. I have heard of numerous occasions where the problem existed...poor husbandry (IMHO). Just didn't want you to go there...it is a sad day when any animal dies due to lack of knowledge on their owner's part. Sadly, it is a common oversight.

She'll start nesting a few days before they are born that is a sure sign.

Yep. But (as in humans, and other species), no two are alike. I've seen the nesting instinct show up a few minutes before birthing happened (and I have seen it happen way before).

I think that you will be OK (I like that idea of the web cam in the 'nest'). Just don't plan any 'out of town' plans for the next week. LOL

 
Sage marie
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Her stall is attached to an outside paddock, where she can come and go as she pleases. At night she is closed in, but we go let her out a couple of times so she can potty.she has been spending a lot of her time in the stall lately during the day. She has a corner outside that is also bedded with hay and shavings that she will lay down on. Every day she seems to be getting more uncomfortable, poor girl.

Heres are a cpl of pictures, you can see how large she is. Thanks for every ones input.

http://i423.photobucket.com/albums/pp317/ShyBon/41314pm041_zpsf011c758.jpg

http://i423.photobucket.com/albums/pp317/ShyBon/41314pm037_zps58176a18.jpg
 
Burra Maluca
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I've posted the images below so members can see them more easily.



 
Sage marie
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Thank you Burra, I didnt know how to post the picture just the link. She was pretty restless last night changing positions and locations a lot.
 
Sage marie
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Today she hasnt barely touched her food. just a few nibbles. I brought her out some fruit, she cant resist peaches. She did eat that. Not touching her feed, which she normall devours. Has been drinking but mostly just laying still. Any thoughts?
 
Andre Lasle
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Sage Marie,

Any news? Has she farrowed?
This past winter we purchased 4 American Guinea Hogs. 2 of who ended up being pregnant prior to purchase (even though they were small).

The first one to start showing had the same symptoms you described, heavy breathing, a deeply-distended belly that almost rubbed the floor, etc.
(But we had no way of knowing when she was due!)

We left some bedding in the corner for her. We assumed she was still at least a couple weeks out.

Then one morning I went out to feed everyone before work and saw a chicken leg in the pig padock (I let my birds range through the pig paddocks to pick through thier droppings) and I first thought that a predator got in. It was a Cornish-Cross bird that I had let grow to egg-laying age. Nothing left but a leg and a few feathers.
Then I looked back in the bedding toward the pregnant pig and in the dark morning light I saw what looked like a "pig octopus", movement all around.... I got closer and there were 6 piglets crawling around her belly nursing.

We never heard a peep overnight, she gave birth all on her own.
That first night it was 23 degrees out and they all were absolutely fine. Since we were (are) new to breeding pigs, we added a heat lamp at night for the next 2 weeks as a precaution. Don't know if we needed it, but didn't want to risk loosing any of the litter.
All 6 piglets grew up and we sold 5. A very successful, unexpected pregnancy and birth. A fantastic sow with great instincts and ability.

The second pig, who was pregnant, was not so successful. She had poor mothering instincts and crushed 2 of the 3 piglets the first night and the 3rd the second night. I suspect part of this was because she was already probably an inbred pig, and her little was also probably inbred again- the guy we bought the pigs from had horrible records of breeding and didn't separate the gilts and male shoats.

I guess in a "survival of the fittest" sort of way, these two pigs helped us decide who would continue to litter for us as a sow and who would become the fresh pork in late Spring.

Best of luck with your Sow! Keep us posted.
 
Renate Howard
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I've been told when they breed too young they do often lose most or all of the litter, but the next litter they usually do much better with. That said, I know someone who raises Guinea Hogs and he had the same experience of one that crushed/killed all of her babies. She never got a second chance - was sent to the butcher.

The Guinea Hogs came up from such small numbers I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them are inbred a bit too much - heavy culling is probably a good thing to help preserve the breed!

The two Guinea Hog babies we got from that breeder are awesome - friendly like puppy dogs and growing well, happy to eat as much grass as they can get. It might be hard to kill them when the time comes because they are so personable, but we're keeping the bigger one for a herd sire, at least until he gets too big!
 
Cj Sloane
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Jay Grace wrote:Ive never lost a piglet to them being squished by their momma. Only time I hear of this happening is when they are kept up in a pen and the momma can't get away from the piglets to find a spot to lay down.


Could someone post a pic of a good birthing area/pen?
 
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