My dang pigs are eating each others tails off!

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by farmergirl, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is the first time I've ever had this problem. At first I thought a couple just had scraped themselves, but this morning I had proof! One of my new little gilts is sans tail :( I never dock them myself because I think pigs should have tails as nature intended. My hogs have room to roam, grass to nibble, hay for bedding and water puddles to play in. They have a 3-sided shed to loaf in and have so far seemed content and all are growing up nicely. Lost 2 of 11 due to crushing, but the remaining 9 spend their days running all over the place. Why, oh why, is this happening??
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    It is thought this tail biting problem originates from boredom. The problem is once started it is difficult to stop. I have seen pigs cannibalize the litter. You will have to take the bleeding ones apart from the others. How old are these pigs? What protein level is the food? Do they have food 24/7?
     

  3. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pigs are 2 weeks old. Can't seperate them cause they're all nursing off their mom :shrug: Could I put something nasty tasting on the tails that are left, to discourage the biting??
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    At that age I would cut the tails off all of them since the tailbiting problem exists. Use a sharp pair of diagonal piers and leave only a stub remaining about 1/2 inch long. Have you ever noticed that when you castrate that the pigs will eat what you drop UNTIL it is their turn and they cease immediately.
     
  5. RedHogs

    RedHogs Well-Known Member

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    The problem is often associated with confinement farming but this not correct, many farms have stopped docking as it is genetic and has been culled from most lines.
     
  6. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Same sow, same boar as last time. No problems at all then. Hogs are not confined. I hate the thought of having all nine pigs without tails. I had wanted to keep out one of the gilts to raise as a future breeding sow....is that a bad idea??
     
  7. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    I've seen this occasionally but in the first week. What I observed is they appeared to be suckling a tail when they meant to go to a nipple. Bothersome and they look odd with stubby tails but it doesn't seem to cause any trouble.
     
  8. 4PIGS

    4PIGS Well-Known Member

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    Pigs get bored, just like kids. Try giving them something safe to play with in their pen. You can link a couple of feet of chain over the pen or wire it to the inside of the fence. You can throw in a bowling ball or pins or even an empty bucket. They should be having so much fun, they might just leave each other alone.
     
  9. .netDude

    .netDude Well-Known Member

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    I did just as 4PIGS stated, hung a chain inside the pen to about 6 inches from the floor. They stoped biting tails after that.
     
  10. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, the tail chomping has stopped....and we ended up with one "docked" tail on a gilt, one stubby tailed gilt and one stubby tailed male piglet. The other 6 pigs all have their tails intact.