Pigs: How to Prevent Sow from Killing Her Piglets - Printable Version

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How to Prevent Sow from Killing Her Piglets - Manger - 10-02-2022

A sow can kill some or all of her piglets. The following can contribute to it:

1. Unclipped Piglets Teeth: Piglets have very sharp teeth. When they bite the sow's nipple with it, she might kill or injure them. So clip their teeth as early as 15 minutes old using tooth clippers or pliers or forceps.

2. First-time Mothers: It is more common with sows that are giving birth for the first time.

3. Stress: Stressful conditions like noise, fear, limited space, poor pen conditions etc may cause it. So keep sows in peaceful and clean environment. Leaving the lights on at night have been found helpful by a science study (16-24 hours of light per day).

Changing pen a day or two before farrowing (giving birth) can be stressful for the sow. Do so at least 3 days or more before farrowing so that she get use to the new territory.

If the sow is aggressive towards the piglets while giving birth, separate the piglets from her until she finish farrowing.

4. Nutritional Deficiency: Nutrient deficiency can cause it. So make sure to feed balanced feed with adequate level of protein.

5. Human Behaviour: If you or your workers are aggressive towards the sow, she may transfer it to her piglets.

If your sow is in the right area and have the right feed and yet kept on killing her piglets, sell her off asap because they will likely do it again.

Sometimes, sows can kill piglets unintentionally by lying on them, stepping on them or during birth. In these cases it is not their fault.

After mating period, restrict feeding because fat sows are problematic. Disadvantages include high embryonic mortality, small number of piglets, birth complications, crush piglets, reduce feed intake during subsequent lactation and they are less prolific at the next parity. To prevent over feeding, pregnant sows are feed 3 types of diets, namely:
1. Early gestation diet (day 0–30)
2. Mid-gestation (day 30–75) and
3) late gestation (approximately the last 45 days)

Although many Nigerian pig farmers don't practice most of these things, you will have an edge over them if you do more research and practice them. Thanks

RE: How to Prevent Sow from Killing Her Piglets - Quantum - 10-05-2022

Thanks for sharing.