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We had a sow pig out Sunday night. She seemed to have a hard time with the labor and after would not get up. She got very ill and kind of abandond the piglets. Had the vet out, and he seems to think it is something "metabolic". We have been treating her and she does seem to be doing better, but doesn't even seem to know she had the babies. They did get colostrum the first two days, when she was layed out on her side most of the time. But then she didn't feed them all day long on tuesday, she just layed in a mud hole. The piglets went looking for her and ended up in the mud. So I pulled them out and have been bottle feeding them ever since. They are doing so good now, gaining weight, attacking me as soon as I crawl in the pen with them, all 13 of them. I have been feeding them milk replacer every four hours. There were a few that started to show a little signs of scouring, so I cut back how much milk I was giving them, and now they all seem to be doing good. I just wish now that I had cut their teeth! Those little needle teeth hurt when they clamp down on your finger.
I have been very nervous about the sow, she is my favorite. Her first farrowing went so well and she was such a good mom, that I just figured it would be the same this time. I never dreamed I would be bottle feeding her piglets!
So if anyone has any suggestions to make taking care of the piglets any easier, let me know!

Jennifer
 

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Most orphan pigs I've seen were soon put on a pan of milk instead of the bottle. Maybe no better for the pig, but a whole lot easier for their foster parents.
 

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Wait till they are hungry and dunk their nose in the warm milk a few times until they get the idea. They know you are going to give them a bottle. You may have to walk away and let them worry a while.
 

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I put my orphans on bowl feeding because of my schedule and it took a day but when they got hungry they learned. They did step in it but just their front feet and I only had two piglets. 13 sounds like a workout either way. Good luck with them. How's the sow?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The sow is better now, but still far from being herself. She's starting to get up and run when she sees me coming because she knows she's getting a shot...
She hasn't looked for the piglets at all, and doesn't seem to miss them. Her milk seems to have completely dried up now anyway. Just curious, do any of you think I should try to breed her again, or just ship her? I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet...
Two of the smaller piglets died tonight. :( I'm trying not to let it get to me but it does. I'm trying very hard to save these piglets. I'm going to try the pan of milk again tomorrow night. So far the bottle feeding is going ok, the worst part is trying to keep them seperated so I know who I have fed and who I haven't!

Jennifer
 

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Ship her.
 

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Ship her.
It rarely pays to give a sow a second chance. Besides heavy sows are bring more per pound than 250lb slaughter hogs. Sell her and you can buy two gilts big enough to breed with the money.
 

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I raised my orphans on kid formula and they did very well. When they started scouring I added Biosol to the formula and rice cereal to thicken it and keep them contented longer. I'm asking the same question about my favorite sow right now. I thought I would keep her forever but she had a tougher time raising her piglets this time (her second time) and she has had a harder recovery. Compared to my other sows she isn't a great mother. Genetically she isn't contributing what I am looking for either. Even with all those negatives on her side, the decision is a tough one for me. But it looks like I will butcher her and keep only the better producers.
 

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Sorry to hear of your troubles Jennifer.
Like the others that have already posted, I pan feed the little ones. They will learn pretty quick. I like to add scrambled eggs to their milk as soon as they are able to eat them.
As for the sow, if it were mine, I'd replace her. But since she is one of your favorites, it's up to you if you want to re-breed her. I know it's hard getting rid of one when you think she might have a chance.
Good luck to you and let us know how it goes.
 
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