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Hello all,

Bessy, our Hampshire sow, is due as early as January 7th (based on when we took her out from her previous batch of piglets). We certainly didn't plan this well, but we do live in Arkansas where the winters are generally quite mild. Our farrowing pen is 2 1/2 sided with a tarp on top filled with about a foot of straw. We will be closing in a 3rd side, the north side, after we put her in there, so that will stop the cold north winds. Should we be more prepared than this? We have several heat lambs we could use. I know they will burrow into the straw and can stay warm, but is that enough?

Thanks,
Mouse
 

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Mouse said:
Hello all,

Bessy, our Hampshire sow, is due as early as January 7th (based on when we took her out from her previous batch of piglets). We certainly didn't plan this well, but we do live in Arkansas where the winters are generally quite mild. Our farrowing pen is 2 1/2 sided with a tarp on top filled with about a foot of straw. We will be closing in a 3rd side, the north side, after we put her in there, so that will stop the cold north winds. Should we be more prepared than this? We have several heat lambs we could use. I know they will burrow into the straw and can stay warm, but is that enough?

Thanks,
Mouse
My friend had a litter born this winter. (these are wild boar) but he didnt even put them in a pen away from the rest of the herd. Im still amazed they didnt freeze their butts off...IM in Calif so we arent getting too severe weather but it did freeze here 3 times last month. Sounds to me if you have straw (not too thick) and a run in they should probably be fine. Youll probably loose more to mom laying on them than the actual cold. It might make it easier on you if you put a small board across the front that mam can step over but the babies cant when they are first born. That way a wayward child wont end up out in the weather instead of cuddled with the rest.
 

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With good bedding and out of a draft, they are OK at 32 degrees but not at 0. If you use a heat bulb be sure the sow can't touch it. A piece of plywood across the back corner of the pen with the heatlamp behind it works well.. Leave about a 10 inch space at the bottom of the plywood so the pigs can get in where its warm.. They learn this the first day of their life. You need to put them there as soon as they are born if its really cold to get dried off. After they are dry, they can manage on their own. Put the bulb low enough to take the chill off the bedding under it. If the sow can touch the wire or bulb she may tear it down causing a fire!
 
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