having piglets outdoors

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by mink, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. mink

    mink Well-Known Member

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    wondering if anyone has had any luck with their mother pigs having their piglets outside .....my old man always had them inside with a 2x4 or 2x6nalied about a foot or so out from the wall so the momma pig wouldnt squish her lil ones.
    mink
     
  2. Mike in Pa

    Mike in Pa Well-Known Member

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    From what I've heard you don't need to. There are stories of mama crushing them ... even eating them. They need the milk though. I think 1st timers might have a higher incident rate.?

    I just came from a small breeder yesterday. She told a story of a mama that she couldn't get into the barn and gave birth in the pasture. Winter time to boot. She could pick up the little ones but the mama still wouldn't come in. It gets good... The BOAR and another sow made a triangle when sleeping to shelter the little ones! She said the little ones would climp all over the boar and he was fine. She attributes it to a lot of attention to them all ... very calm disposition.
     

  3. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    We've had litters outside successfully. Never use a rail. Yes, sometimes a mother will crush a piglet, but we are selecting for careful sows and need to know who can naturally avoid laying on her piglets and who can't.
     
  4. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    My uncle was a big hog farmer years ago and had the farrowing house that the experts said you were supposed to have. He kept losing pigs so he turned them out in the woods (fenced of course) and let the sows build their own beds and didn't lose nearly as many pigs. My Dad also raised a lot of hogs when I was a boy and never used a house. All the pigs were born outside.

    Sows had pigs in the woods long before the first farrowing house was ever built. The more we can let animals live the way God created them to live the better they will be.

    And Horace is right. If you have a sow that has problem crushing pigs, cull her from your herd and keep the sows that don't.
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    a good mother pig takes care of her young, a bad one shouldn't be reproducing. Man has by caring for the offspring of bad mothers, and allowing them to then reprduce, magnified the bad genetics. On my farm, a sow that kills or neglects the piglets gets invited to dinner.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    if you farrow outside watch for buzzards. The buzzards will kill the pigs as they are born and eat them.
     
  7. mink

    mink Well-Known Member

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    buzzards are far and few between up here in new york
     
  8. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our second litter of Penny Pig was a disaster...this is why her only surviving piglet is called Lucky Pig. We had an unusally cold night the night they were born...one day before I expected them. She must have had them in the middle of the night...when I went out to check her early morning there were 10 dead piglets and one live piglet. I am presuming that they died of the cold although on close inspection of the bodies I found 2 had cleft pallets. They weren't huddles together like I would have expected cold piglets trying to get warm would be but rather scattered all over her shed (2 sided and roofed). I blame myself for the deaths because I hadnt kept the level of straw up enough for the babies to huddle in. SO even though mine farrow outside, they are still in a shed, and even then the cold gets them....so in the open paddock, who knows??.
     
  9. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    Refering back to culling sows that lay on the pigs, a sow that would allow buzzards to take her pigs would also be a candidate for the sausage grinder.
     
  10. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The sow cannot prevent the buzzards from killing the pigs. The buzzards will peck the eyes out of the pigs as the sow is giving birth. An A frame type hutch in an open pasture affords some protection and is a good solution also if you will be farrowing in colder weather or in extremely hot conditions.
     
  11. Mike in Pa

    Mike in Pa Well-Known Member

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    Heard the same story about an Owl (actually pair of).
     
  12. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Ours farrow out in the pasture...

    The first piggy built her house of stone (she used the one I built in the hill side), the second piggy built her house of straw (that she gathered from the field) and the third piggy built her house of sticks (that she chopped down in the brush).

    Hey, they couldn't quite remember the story so they got it in the wrong order... :)

    The big good wolves made their rounds and checked them all several times a day. All the piglets did fine and nobody was lost. After about four days the sows brought their piglets back into the pasture to romp and within a week they were all sleeping together again in one big happy pile.

    Everybody lived happily ever after. :)

    I'm not kidding! http://hollygraphicart.com/misc/20040917pigletparade/

    I wouldn't worry about rails and stuff unless you're confined to pens, er, I mean the pigs that is.

    Cheers,

    -Walter
    SugarMtnFarm
    in Vermont
     
  13. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Walter...what would be the coldest temp. it would get to at night where you live...when sows farrowing.?? thanks. :)
     
  14. mink

    mink Well-Known Member

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    you have some very nice pics there walter
     
  15. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    :eek: Yikes, is this true?

    We took some of the plans for an A frame farrowing house on skids and were going to place it in a wooded area, but we definitely have tons of turkey vultures around here.

    Man, are we playing catch-up on the learning curve!
     
  16. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    A good boar will protect the piglets, as will a LGD

     
  17. pigsrus

    pigsrus Member

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    depends on location temp im in Canada have to keep inside due to cold nights and hawks or great grey owls make quick work of piglets
     
  18. Matt NY

    Matt NY Well-Known Member

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    We have them here in Rensselaer County, Capital district.
     
  19. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    -45F is our winter low typically - sometimes for a few weeks. This winter has been warm, up into the teens and twenties for much of the winter.

    We avoid lambing and farrowing in the worst of the weater and try to time it for March, April, May when the weather warms up but there will still be snow in the pastures until May and night time temps below freezing.

    Cheers,

    -Walter
    SugarMtnFarm
    in Vermont