My 9 month old Pot bellied pig was fine yesterday. Today, dead as a doornail. She was small, about 20-25 lbs. We kept her lightly fed and trim, but wasnt so thin you could see ribs either. Cant figure out what went wrong. Last night was the first night it droped below 30. Could she have froze to death? The donkey ate all the hay on the ground so there was no bedding last night.
I agree with horace, as far as "sometimes pigs just die" but potbellies are very intolerrant of cold weather, they should always have a way to get completly out of the cold and have warm bedding, but 30 degrees I have never lost one to, but there are alot of other variables to look at, what was wind chill?was she completly closed in? has she had any shots recently or been trated for anything? 25 lbs is a good weight for that age, did you notice how much she has been drinking latley?was there any pine needles or pine chips or rubarb in the area she was kept in? was there any blood around the anus? was she pooping normally? was she kept in contact with chickens,geese,turkeys? was she the runt of her litter?give me a little more info and i will try to help you out, these questions all have to do with sudden deaths in potbellies.
We got her at 10 weeks and she never was given shots or wormed or got suplements. We joked how she was doing so great and esy to keep. She didnt have bedding, but had free run of the pasture and barn, so out of the wind and soft dirt in the stall. No blood at the anus that I saw. No pine nedles or rubarb. There was some rotten hay on the ground. We have ducks and chickens, but the same group have been together fine for her whole life.
It's always a good thing to try to figure out why an animal died, for obvious reasons. So far nothing you've said seems to stand out as a possible cause. Maybe someone who's had a similar PBP experience will have an insight.
But often an animal death doesn't come with answers. When we started farming, when an animal died suddenly/mysteriously, we had the Vet out for a necropsy. These never bore fruit, just a big bill from the Vet. So, as unsatisfying as it is, often you just have to chalk an animal death (especially a sudden one) up to "unknown".
Potbellies are native to the jungles of SE Asia. They are not built for cold, they are built for heat. They are a bacon pig, not a lard pig. (assuming you don't have a cross) I've seen them basking in the sun at 90F and not bothering with the wallow. Donkeys eating bedding can be a real problem. A single pig with nobody to snuggle up to it or some hay to burro under will not last long. I try to make sure after butchering that there are still at least a half dozen pigs to overwinter. Still, sometimes there are quarrels and the pigs might kick someone out of the nest, and then that's it for them. I made burro excluders to keep the donkey out of the bedding, by blocking the front of the pig bed with a gate made from a cattle panel and then cut a small square out of the bottom of the panel so the pigs can go under
i have to agree with george k, they arent built for the cold alouth i live in minnesota, i have more than one and they are in a barn with fresh bedding, also, pnemonia is hard to detect sometimes in pbp, and th mold from rotten hay can lead to that, and along with the cold its a death sentance, remember their noses are low to the ground, they are sniffinf that rotten hay right into their lungs, and they dont have enough body heat to keep themselves warm. next time if you get another one, close it up tight in the barn with plenty of fresh bedding on cold nights, and i recomend if they are going to live outside as opposed to in the house having more than one if you dont want em breeding same sex is fine as long as you get them at the same time so they are always together(less fighting that way)