Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Curious how much loss other people have? Does the number born matter to you or just the number weaned? We seem to be routinely having litters bigger then the # of nipples and losing several. My profit/loss numbers are figured using 8 weaned and the sows are doing that. Everyone tells me I'm going to lose some I'm just courteous where we are in comparison to others and if our losses are excessive. Current I'd say average is 14 born 9.5 weaned. Almost 5 aren't making it to weaning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Just had a litter with more nipples to piglets, sold one off as a bottle baby to make peace amongst the other piglets. everyone is much healthier now. There was fighting, alot of facial injuries which looked like it was leading to the start of skin infections so i removed one so everyone gets a teat and the fighting is done everyone is healing up. I take preventative action.

out of the 50 some piglets I've had born here the last 2 years only 4 died the first day from injuries. Other than that I've not had pre-weaning losses. I visit with everyone a few minutes a day and keep an eye on anyone whos not doing well. Caught a starving piglet in spring, fed her separately from the other pigs twice a day and she made it. Generally for me it is # born is # weaned.

do you know what your pigs are typically dying from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
born live vs stillborn? it sounds like you are only talking about born live. I would be curious about stillborn counts as well. Nipple count would definitely be something I would be breeding for. More piglets than nipples is a issue that is just going to cause problems. In three litters I have had a maximum of 12 born live (with one stillborn in that litter). One died the next night from suffocation but all (11) others where weaned. That sow has 13 nipples if I remember correctly. I have not lost any from fighting among each other over milk. I also haven't had any litters larger than nipple count. You are having higher birth rates (which is a good thing) than I do so far. Need to get that paired with 16 nipples and you will be doing very well it sounds like. Good luck finding that!

keith
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,201 Posts
Curious how much loss other people have? Does the number born matter to you or just the number weaned? We seem to be routinely having litters bigger then the # of nipples and losing several. My profit/loss numbers are figured using 8 weaned and the sows are doing that. Everyone tells me I'm going to lose some I'm just courteous where we are in comparison to others and if our losses are excessive. Current I'd say average is 14 born 9.5 weaned. Almost 5 aren't making it to weaning.
Both. But the number weaned is what i count on. Best to have sows that have 14 + teats but 16 is better.

My avg. weaned now is 9. My last litter Herefords is 11 and now at over 4 weeks old is still 11. Happy for this sow. She is a top sow and this was her first litter. As i do have litters in the winter my avg. could be better if i didn't have the litters in the winter as i do lose more in the winter. Sows tend to lay on more in the winter cold. A still birth now and then. 2 years ago sow had 18 piglets out in 5 degree weather down in the woods where she made a nest. 4 wondered off in the woods and frozen while she was having the pigs. She did save 14 healthy piglets.

If you can wean
on avg 8-10 you are doing good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm counting the still born in the total count. Normally we have one born in the afterbirth that is dead unless we're there to assist. Our sows have 12 or 14 nipples, trying to select for more going forward.

Seems like there are always a runt or two that don't make it. I'd love to keep them alive. I've tried bottle feeding them without any luck. I've always felt they had the best chance with the mom, but they are so small and weak that they can't compete for a nipple.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Latest mom farrowed sat night. One died in the afterbirth and one was laid on that night. Two runts died, one yesterday and one last night, one wandered off and can't be found. So I'm down to 10 nice healthy babies from 15. That seems typical out of our larger litters. In the spring we had smaller litters, but seemed to be he healthier babies with fewer losses.

Gerold remember me if you've got any breeding quality gilts to sell out of those Herefords.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Ug, take into account the stillborns I had a litter of 15 turn into a litter of 6. All 6 alive made it just fine! But those dead were all mummies so i don't count them as i couldn't do anything to save them.

I'm curious what Walter does about piglets that wander off. They do have a penchant for going off and freezing to death the first night. I watched my sow farrow on a very cold night that i didn't provide a heat lamp or a creep. I had to grab 4 piglets at various times that tried to wander off and put them back in the nest. Once they got 20 feet away was when i went to retrieve them. The next morning i had two i found one chilled and the other ice cold, almost dead. heated him back up and they are both doing fine.

So, out of curiosity what is your setup these days David?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Right now they have a shelter that's in a pen that's about 30x50. I've tried in bigger pens I've tried farrowing crates. If I'm there I can usually save the one born in the afterbirth but if I'm not there I always find one dead in the afterbirth. With the crates I can segregate the stronger ones under a heat lamp and make sure the runts at least get to nurse once. I guess I could do that for a dew days in the crates.

I'm trying to get away from crates. I don't feel as though they are as inhumane as others. The moms aren't happy at first but settle down and generally they are in there less then a week. If it saves piglets lives I feel its kind of inhumane not to. However I'm getting just as many laid on in the crates. I don't really have a good setup for them and they are alot of work to keep clean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Number Born
Number Born Live
Number Weaned

Those are the factors used to determine pre-weaning mortality.
Well yes, it's not difficult to determine mortality I'm just interested in where my mortality rate is compared to others and compared to a realistic optimum.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,860 Posts
Well yes, it's not difficult to determine mortality I'm just interested in where my mortality rate is compared to others and compared to a realistic optimum.
I'll be blunt, 36% sucks.

Something has to be wrong if you are still getting 1 of every 3 pigs crushed in a farrowing crate. How viable are the piglets at birth? Are they fighting to get to the teats or just lethargic? How fat are your sows? Based on what you are saying I bet they are fat, a fat sow is a bad mother. Could you post photos?

Jim
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,860 Posts
Gerold remember me if you've got any breeding quality gilts to sell out of those Herefords.
Before you start adding sows it seems to me that you need to figure out how to raise pigs. Are your crates set up correctly? Do you have supplemental heat for the piglets? Is the flooring acceptable for piglets to move about the crate? Do the piglets have enough room outside of the crate? Is the sow too big for the crate?

Sorry I don't have answers and only questions.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'll be blunt, 36% sucks.

You feel crates are inhumane, but what about the 1 in three piglets that dies. Wasn't their death inhumane?
That's what I said I don't feel they are inhumane. I don't feel like I'm having better results with them. I'm still getting one or two laid on with the crates baa me number as not using them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Before you start adding sows it seems to me that you need to figure out how to raise pigs. Are your crates set up correctly? Do you have supplemental heat for the piglets? Is the flooring acceptable for piglets to move about the crate? Do the piglets have enough room outside of the crate? Is the sow too big for the crate?

Sorry I don't have answers and only questions.

Jim
Yes I have good crates. Don't really think that's the problem. When they have 8-10 the mortality rate is very low. When the birth rates go up so does the mortality rate, drastically. The additional babies aren't born as healthy and have a low survival rate.

I think ill continue to expand to met demand despite what you think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
a sow has 10 nice sized healthy babies, loses none and weans 10. Next litter she has 15 loses 5, weans 10. Wean rate is the same mortality rate is higher. As long as I'm weaning 8-10 I'm happy. obviously I'd rather it be higher. My gilts last time had 8,9,&10. They weaned 7,8,& 8. Good mortality but I'm money ahead having 15 and weaning 10 like this time around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
How are your feeding your sows during mid and late gestation? How quickly do they farrow?
They get 5 lbs a day of a sow ration the local mill grinds generally farrow pretty quickly. Usually 3 or 4 in a short period of time, then maybe 15 min brake then 3 or 4 more pretty quickly. Slower toward the end but normally they are done in less then 2 hours.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,860 Posts
As 're you feeding 5# to every sow regardless of condition? Are you using a my specialty ingredients like chromium, carnitine to help the sows nutrition status?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
5 yes haven't had any problems with condition issues. During lactation they get five plus one lb for every pig they are nursing. At weaning I bump it up to try to bring them back into heat. Haven't had any condition issues. No to speciality ingredients.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,852 Posts
ErikaMay, if you have piglets wandering off I would suggest marking those as feeders and never breeding them. They may have poor homing instincts or something else. They should stay in the nest, only exit to pee or poop and then return to the sow. Breed for strong homing.

-Walter
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top