piglet advice needed please.

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by thequeensblessing, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    An Amish friend recently gave us 4, 4-week old weaned piglets. 3 of them are eating and drinking just fine. One of them doesn't eat when we feed them, although he will drink water. He is running around and looking okay, although he is smaller than the others. (They are all from the same litter.)
    He may be eating when we aren't there to witness it, I don't really know. He just doesn't eat when we feed them, and we always hang out and watch them for a while. We tried to separate him with one other piglet so we could better monitor what he ate, but they both just freaked out and tried to get out to the other piglets. We've tried feeding wet and dry. The other piglets like to be fed dry as that is what they were used to on the Amish farm.
    What would you folks do in this situation? Just assume he is eating and keep a close eye on him? Step in a try to suplement it somehow?
    Thanks for the advice in advance.
     
  2. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Pigs are very social animals and will almost always eat together in one big rush. When one of them gets an idea to do something....everyone joins in. It sounds as though you are being very diligent and I would make the assumption that something might be wrong with him. You didn't mention how long it has been that he is off his food? Drinking is the biggest thing though...when they are sick and off their water, that's when you have a drastic situation on your hands and some sort of intervention is usually required. Depending on how long he has been off his food and assuming that he is still acting normal, I would simply continue to monitor him. Hopefully, he is eating when you aren't there to observe and everything is fine. One final thought...is there enough space for everyone to eat without crowding? If he is the runt and there isn't a lot of space for everyone to eat....he might be shy to get in there and chow down? You should have a space for each pig, plus an empty space or two.
     

  3. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    Ask your Amish friend.....I learned alot from the Amish when I first got livestock back in the early 1970's. :cowboy:
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    chicken soup, the real stuff you make at home. Feed him by himself and then reintroduce him as he begins to eat chicken soup over pig feed. Three days should be enough- gradually add the pig feed in.
     
  5. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the advice! I have decided to do some watchful waiting, partly because he is still full of energy and does drink plenty of water. I believe he must be eating something to be running around like he does. I have switched to a larger feeder so we'll see if that helps a little. I'll take a drive out to our Amish friend's house this weekend and see if he can give us some tips.
    I appreciate the chicken soup idea too. I can see where that could be quite a boon to the little guy. Only problem is he just goes crazy when he is away from his litter mates, even for a few minutes. He nearly injures himself trying to get to them. I'm not sure it wouldn't be more stressful on him and then he wouldn't even eat the soup. I suppose, if he seems to weaken at all in the near future, I will try it though.
    Thank you again, everyone who responded. :)
     
  6. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    If he is that full of energy, he is eating something, maybe even their poop. Piglets at that young age go down quickly. You don't need to feed soup if he is well but if you wanted to see that he is in fact eating, give a little to the whole gang just once. They love the stuff and it will give you peace of mind. Best wishes with your gang :)
     
  7. Trisha-MN

    Trisha-MN www.BilriteFarms.com

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    Have you tried feeding them some milk? Our piglets really go for that.
     
  8. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    I had tried to give them milk out of a low feeding bucket. The other 3 little pigs drank well enough, but the runty little piglet just stuck his nose in it and coughed and coughed.
    I finally broke down and offered him a bottle. I didn't really know what to feed a sickly little pig so I mixed cows milk (don't have any goats milk currently) with a little sugar and salt for electrolites, warmed it to just tepid, and offered it to him. He feels so skinny in my hands! But he drank from that bottle greedily! I didn't want to feed him too much the first time. Obviously he isn't weaned at all. I fed him 2 ounces and then let him run back to his litter mates.
    Do you all think this is a proper milk mixture to feed an unweaned piglet? Would calf milk replacer be too rich? I don't want him getting the runs on top of this. How much should I feed him per feeding, and how often do I feed him?
    I'm sorry to sound so dumb about this, but I've never had an unweaned piglet before. We've always bought them weaned or had mama pig to take care of them.
    Thanks again for all your wonderful advice and suggestions.