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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Last week have been a quite sad week. We were really excited about our first delivery of a sow, but things went bad. Fist, her pregnancy was a accident, our potbellied pig started to be sexually mature way earlier than what we though (at 3-4 month) so they weren't separate when it arrived. We didn't plan to reproduce them because they were themselves accident and we thought that the inbreeding was starting to be problematic.

So the sow was young and inbreed. All the 6 piglets were alive when birth. most weren't able to drink the milk even if we put the nipple or the nursing bottle in their mouth. Nor lot of them were not able to open their eyes by themselves so we had to help them. The most active drank a lot but was coughing and all the other one had respiration issues. The environment was, we tough, good. Lots of space for the sow not to squeeze them, hay to hide themselves, a heating floor and a red lamp so they don't get cold. The sow was not bad and she had abundant milk.

Our hypothesis is that, because there's big piggery at less than a kilometer the PRRSV reach our small farm and because of the condition of the sow, the piglets had a low immunity. Because it was our first pig delivery, and that pigs are still new to us, we wonder if because of the industry around we will have the same problem with PRRSV if we buy pigs with good genetic.
 

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Why do you think that the factory farm down the road is infected with PRRSV? How do you think the virus spread to your farm? A simple Lab test of the sow will tell you if she's got PRRSV.
If I'm understanding this correctly, inbred sow of some breed, bred to a potbelly boar you have around for some unknown reason, bred earlier than you thought possible. The sow was also too young to be safely bred? Then you didn't realize she was ready to deliver, so had the potbelly boar in with her during and after delivery?
You had pig milk in the nursing bottle? You didn't get a bunch of warm milk into their lungs? How soon after birth did they drink?

Buying 40 pound feeder pigs is a good way to start raising pigs. After you get that down, pasturing is another learning step. Breeding and raising babies comes later.

Too hard to guess why the babies wouldn't nurse. How long did they lay around before you found them and put them on a nipple?
 

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Yeah, well we bought 3 (one female, two males) two month old potbellied pig from friends last autumn because they had to many. They told us not to worry about separating them until 5-6 month, because they didn't get mature before that, which wasn't the case. It's true that we don't know for sure that it's PRRSV, but it seems a good hypothesis because they had coughing, look like premmies (but the sow gave birth at 116 jours), and they had big issues with breathing. One even kept his tongue out of his mouth for the hour he lives. After a day, 3 of the 6 piglets were still alive, and at this moment we went to buy milk replacer to make them easier to drink from the nursing bottle because they didn't seem to be able to drink form the teats. The more active, which survive longer, was able to drink by himself from the sow. We guess about the PRRSV because it can spread by the air and it seems like a huge issue here in Québec.
 

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This sounds like the pigs could have been premature. It could also likely to have been a genetic problem. What was the health status of the sow and what was her nutrition leading up to farrowing?
 

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Yes I agree that it kind a look like a genetic issue. And I'm worried about the premature things, because it really look like it but she was 116 days after the end of her last heat. The sow look super healthy, she gain lots of weight during her pregnancy. We gave her food as much as she wanted during the last month of her pregnancy. It's a mixed of barley (50%), corn (25%), soybean meal (20%) and oats (5%). We gave plenty of scrap veggies, broken egg and she had access to soil during episode of snow melting.
 

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Does your area use pre-breeding vaccination for immunity? It is needed at times, so that the sow can pass along the proper immunity to her litter. The best we can do is what we think is best and hope for a good outcome.
 

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I wouldn't worry about her being inbred. There are tons of animals that are inbred to a point but they still do ok.
 
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