Need some advice for hand raised birkshire piglet

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Casastash, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Casastash

    Casastash New Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
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    Manitoba,Canada
    Hi All,

    First time raising a piglet, I’m a vet tech and he was dropped off at my farm because he was going to die. I think he was about 4 days old, you could see every bone and he couldn’t stand.

    He’s about 6 weeks now and for a while has had a head tilt. After castration last week he developed mucous from his nose and a cough which I treated with Noromycin. He is still burping up milk and a tiny bit of mucous with feeds, otherwise no cough or mucous.

    He isn’t gaining weight as I would have expected, granted he started off behind the 8 ball.

    He lives with a bottle goat, a grown goat,ducks and geese. He has an acre pen with shelter and goes in our pasture from time to time

    He gets free fed dry grower with 2 feeds of grower mixed with milk replacer. He also get fresh vegetables daily, leafy greens, beets, squash etc. He has been dewormed. I was advised against iron shot because he was so thin when I got him and I’m wondering if this could be what’s holding him back?

    Currently he has a big head, round belly but you can easily feel his ribs and spine. Definitely not a plump piglet.

    He has grown A Lot but we want this guy in the freezer happy and healthy so any advise would be very appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Casastash

    Casastash New Member

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  3. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    From your description I was expecting to see some emaciated, large-headed, pot-bellied piglet. In fact, given the bad start to life, he isn't looking too bad at all for an approximately 6 week old piglet with such a rotten start.

    Carry on with what your doing - the only change I would make is to cook all his food from the garden etc, the reason being that it takes energy to digest food and this energy would be better off going into muscle/fat rather than digesting food. With cooked food, half the job has been done. Milk is good - protein and fat - but don't overdo it. This guy will make it to the freezer with your help (which you are giving) and have a good life to boot. He will also be a good training asset for you as a vet tech.

    Will be interested in how he goes - and not at all surprised if he never goes into the freezer:D

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
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  4. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    He looks great! Nice job. I have taken in the throw aways too. Alot of work but they turn out to be good pets. Don't want to slater after putting some much into them. Most have gone to petting zoo. But a few stayed local and I get to see them huge and sweet.
     
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  5. Casastash

    Casastash New Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks everyone, I was just very worried because I have seen commercial piglets at his age almost double in size!

    He is much more work than a regular piglet but that’s ok by us!

    He will be headed to the freezer in the fall though, we will feel good knowing he lived a great life where he was loved but he is ultimately.... Bacon lol

    We Homestead so if it doesn’t serve a purpose it doesn’t live here :)
     
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  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Casastash, part of homesteading/lifestyle-blocking, is that you have the option to not fit in if that's what you want to do. I reared many runts and most went into the freezer - but there was the odd one that had personality plus that just sort of ........ died of old age. The older animals on this farm, and previous farms I have owned in my 40-odd years of farming, have been my teachers. This piglet is already teaching you a thing or two although you're probably not aware of it as such.

    If you can hang him up, all good mana to you and whatever direction you take, the important part is that his life was a good one.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
    proutdoors likes this.