Serious problem and question

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by dunroven, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,366
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    I just yesterday was given a very fat pot bellied pig. This poor boar is supposedly 4 years old. He is so fat he can't hardly walk or stand up. My husband said that the lady that "rescued" him had given him a shot of penicillin, supposedly for an infection of some sort, but she has gone out of town. He said that the pig just walked into the big dog cage that he took to get the pig in and then when he got him home, we had a great deal of trouble getting him out of the cage and into the pen we have for him. We have some straw for bedding in there for him as well. He used to eat purina dog chow, all he wanted, all the time. Which of course is why he is so fat. My question is, today, Harley (we decided to call him Harley Hawg for my sister who rides a Hawg) has been laying down, most of the day, hasn't touched his food and hasn't drank any water. I don't know him well enough to know if this is normal behavior, if he is stressed because of the move, and just refusing to eat, or if there is truly something wrong with this boy. He acts like he could be mean. I think he was abused, along with being over stuffed. Any opinions here on what to do? Our local vet is not that familiar with these pigs and is a little leery of treating an animal that he's so unsure about (he's an older vet). Is Harley doomed, or is it just a matter of waiting for him to get calm? Any help would truly be appreciated.
     
  2. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    Ok, I will be guessing here, because I can't see and know everything. But it doesn't sound normal or ok to me.

    If he hasn't drank water or eaten something within 24 hours, I would expect something is wrong with him.

    I would try to tempt him with something a little sweet to drink. >>Has he pooped or pee'd?<< Then if he shows interest, slowly switch him to eating grass until the weight comes off, (he will get cranky and act like he is starving and may be mean about it) little bits of suppliment like some calf manna, or cooked vegetables, If he will walk, he needs to as much as you can get him to. Like have him walk as far as he can stand, when he gets tired and lays down,..offer a treat for him to go 12 inches more. then each day another 12 inches or so, I keep thinking of cooked carrots, but if it takes a marshmallow to walk further so be it, then cut the marshmallow in half and so forth. Good luck with him.
     

  3. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn
    hiya thumper!! :)

    a pb pig that won't eat is a very sick pig. you can try to save him, if he is not too far gone, but it'll be a job. it all depends on how much time and energy you want to put into it. get a temp (101 is normal). if high, give him penicillin injections of 1 cc per 100#. if it were mine, i'd triple it. thumper is right- has he pee'd or pooped? overweight pigs that have been fed a dog food diet die from constipation which ruptures their bowel. it's not pretty and it's very painful. if you really want to try to save him, pm me and i'll tell you how to check him and what to do to try and get his bowels moving again. the stress of moving an almost sick pig can push it over the edge. if you are really into rescuing this pig, start there. if he survives, he can be pastured and lose weight. he's too old to neuter to make a better pet. truth be told, the merciful thing to do might be to put it down. the uncut boars are obnoxious, stinky bullies that can injure a small child.

    i keep a couple of them for pets, but am convinced they make a far better meat animal than pet. an overweight 4 year old isn't even good for meat.
     
  4. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,366
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    We are waiting until morning, but its my bet that old Harley will just have to be put down. We want to raise pbs for meat and have a wonderful little female to get started with, but are waiting for a boar. The lady that gave us this one got it from someone where they had not been treating it right, obviously, and I would have liked to save it, but I don't really think there is much chance in it. We won't be eating this guy cause we are not at all sure what is wrong with him, but I also don't want him to suffer. He is so huge that you can't see most of his legs for the folds of fat hanging down on him.

    Another question, since we are just barely getting started. We are here in Iowa, it is very cold. Do you still pasture your pigs during the winter, or barn them? We inherited an old hog confinement building (with no fence on it), which we have enclosed part of for our German Shepherds that we raise, and another section for our rabbits.

    Our little female pig has never been outside. She is 6 weeks old, came to us at 4 weeks, and was on mild replacment. When is a good time to get her outside? I don't have her in the house, but on the porch with a heat lamp over her at night as it is below zero here now.

    Well, lots of questions, and I think I have absolutely found the right place for answers. I looked at the side for windridge farms and printed out the information on butchering there. We are really anxious to get started on homesteading for ourselves! Thanks for the answers everyone!
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,747
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi Dunroven,

    What a sad story and I would agree with everything the others have said. This is not normal behaviour for any type of pig and it's worrying that he's not drinking. Keep in mind though that some pigs actually don't drink a lot of water and as it is now very cold he may not have the need to.
    This boar is GROSSLY overweight even for a PB or Kunekune, add the a lousy diet and then the trauma of being moved and you've got a sick pig. If he were mine, I would leave him be for the next 24 hours but keeping an eye on him for any deterioration. If at the end of that time he wasn't making any progress I think I might look very seriously at having him put down. It is a pity your vet isn't a little more confident. I have run into vets in the past that know very little about pigs but in their favour, they go away and do some research and get on the phone to other vets. My present vet is not a "pig" vet - but he's learning fast :D

    As to your little sow, if it is that cold I would be inclined to leave her where she is for the present. At 6 weeks she is very little (I don't wean until that age and they don't leave me until 8 weeks) and she will be using all her resources to keep warm and grow. If you have a warmish day with a bit of sun, let her on to the lawn for a bit. By the time your summer arrives she will be more than old enough to be outside and you can provide her with a house of her own.

    I wish you all the luck with your boar - as much for him as for you as it sounds as though he's had a miserable life thus far.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    sausage

     
  7. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn

    yeah, but is having to butcher through all the fat worth the effort? and he's sick besides.

    i hate it for the old guy, but this is the way most PB pigs end up that are kept for pets.
     
  8. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    my comment had to do with the fact that it was 4 years old. Age does not preclude the production of good food

    If it was sick and you were going to butcher it, I'd only use it for lard, I doubt anything could survive those temperatures. Deep frying in fresh lard is a treat.

    A stressed out pig, if it is obese can probably go 3-4 days easily without drinking. The starvation process releases water (actually produces water) from fat. That's what a camel's hump is. I've seen a boar that only had a little fat go that long without eating or drinking and recover fine. (had the **** beat out of him by a ram)
     
  9. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

    Messages:
    2,479
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Lynnwood, Washington
    I dunno George. Do you think the flavor of lard off a boar that's eaten nothing but Purina Dog Chow would be any nice at all? Sounds kinda gross to me, but I have no practical experience.
     
  10. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,366
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    George, I'm glad to hear you say that! We went out today and poor old Harley was laying there and I roused him a bit and finally my husband climbed in with him (not knowing his temperment, we're not sure how safe this is, he still has some tusks). Anyway, he pushed around on him and pulled his tail a bit and then he took a hold of one little foot and pushed some more, and Harley stood up! He is walking, but very, very slowly. I have been trying to figure out what I could give him to help get rid of the constipation he might be having, and I don't have much right now, and we are having some pretty lousy weather, but I did find some frozen grapes and ground cherries, which I figure might help him a bit. What do you think? When we go to the feed store, do we ask for "COB", or do we ask for a mixture of corn, oats, and barley. You see, we really are very new to this, and I am just so excited to find this web site where you folks are that can really help us out! We were also delighted when feeding the chickens today. We got our first egg!!!!! These are also some "rescued" critters from the same farm as Harley, an aracana, a white leghorn, some rhode island reds, and a couple of banties as well as some mallard ducks, a pekin, etc. Anyway, I think this may have been a banty egg, it's really tiny, but I said this is the first food we have from our farm, from the critters that have been here the shortest time. We're anxious to get the pigs and the rabbits started, but I think we probably will have to wait for another male. Not sure about old Harley, but as long as there is a chance in him surviving, we're willing to wait and help him. Maybe he will turn out to be the father of our first table pork????? We'll see! Anyway, thanks a bunch everyone! All information is definitely appreciated.
     
  11. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn
    well, that's good!! you can give him prune juice, or prunes, or pumpkin puree to get him moving again. is he peeing? someone told me once that if he hasn't pooped in 24 hours that it is a medical emergency, but i wouldn't panic yet. there are always glycerin suppositories, but if he is mean, you better be brave. LOL!! others can tell you better than i what to feed him to raise for meat. in the winter, i feed a cup of all-stock, and lots of veggie and fruit scraps. in the summer, i don't feed at all, except for the occasional apple core, and they are pastured. the way to keep their weight down is to have them find thier own food. the exercise they get having to look for it balances out the amount of food they take in. mine are loose in the fenced yard, and i only mow about every 3rd week or so, so there is always plenty for them to eat, including whatever grubs and worms might be about.
     
  12. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,366
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    Well, everyone, poor old Harley died. He just couldn't get the motivation to go and my hubby was going to put him down but he didn't even make it long enough for him to be put down. He just collapsed and died, so we put him on the back of the farm for the wild things to deal with.

    Thanks for all the support with him though. We tried, but he just was too sick to make it.

    Oh well, that's the way it goes, I guess! At least he wasn't a pet or anything.
     
  13. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    an offering to the coyotes, to stay away?
     
  14. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,366
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    I think so George! LOL! Although we also have 5 Black/Tan German Shepherds and that keeps a lot of them away. Especially big old Bruno!

    Mainly hoping they, the wolves, and our newly found mountain lions will stay away from here. They haven't found the mountain lions here yet, but about 3 hours south of us they have and they have shot a couple of them.