When the majority of your piglets die?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Abouttime, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    The farmer I bought my first pigs from has had very bad "luck" with his piglets making it to weaning. Most are born alive, but die shortly thereafter. He has 2 boars and 7 sows that are together in a several acres of fenced woods. This yr I know the sow that had my 4, had 12, 5 lived, one died in the castration process-another had 13, all but one died within a week, the remaining one died at 4wks, during a cold spell (he speculates got rolled on in an effort to keep warm) The local feedstore owner who knows this guy, say he thinks this farmer's sows are being bred too early. The farmer says it's because he's tried confining the sows prior to delivery-he attributes all the deaths to being laid on.

    Pigs not making it-are these typically management issues or genetics? I ask as I'd like to keep one of mine, but don't want more heartache than necessary.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Quite frankly, it all sounds like gross mis-management to me and you could quite happily keep one of the sows and expect good things from her.

    If they are bred too soon the sow would lose them before birth or at birth not a week to a month down the track.

    If being confined to a farrowing house, the farmer should have creep rails installed to prevent roll-over.

    If they are confined to a farrowing house and they have sufficient bedding and a heat lamp, a cold snap would have no impact.

    And why did so many others die? How clean is his set-up? E.Coli is the biggest takers of young, unweaned piglets and thrives in damp or wet conditions and if somewhere is wet and damp the chances are also high that it won't be too clean.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     

  3. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    also a big culprit is strep suis. Lost a couple of litters that way. Do they paddle on their sides and act drunk while they can still walk? I agree with Ronney. I would have a pig posted myself. $100 is worth the price to find out.
     
  4. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    I am certain that there were no heat lamps as there is no electricity where they are. The fact that my 4 appear to be healthy and growing, would that be an indication that there is not a chronic problem or is that something that mine being in a healthy, clean place has taken care of?

    Buck-candidly, I'm not sure this farmer would have observed the behavior unless it lasted a while-I don't believe he see them on a daily basis. I don't know what you mean by having a pig "posted"-could you elaborate, please.
     
  5. HeatherDriskill

    HeatherDriskill Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the sows are too young as far as they are not mature enough to be good mamas? I don't know that much about breeding pigs, I admit readily. But, if you bred a dog or heifer or something too young, sometimes they would not take good care of their babies once the babies are born.
     
  6. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Something is very wrong there. PRRS comes to mind or some other type of disease. The fairly steady mortality right up until weaning is very alarming and I would avoid buying pigs from a farmer that had this problem without a firm idea of what was wrong. It could be a simple matter of mis-management, but I doubt it. Ronnie has a good idea of what might be wrong.
     
  7. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    I can certainly refrain from any further purchases from this location, but since I've had these pigs since March 30th, (born March 1st) my current issue is "now that I know about these on-going happenings, should I be concerned about anything genetic?" Please look at these pics and tell me if these pigs appear healthy and about the correct size? I'm hoping Ronney is correct and I can expect good things from her.
    http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e110/virginia276/6-13-06004.jpg
    http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e110/virginia276/6-13-06001.jpg
    Thanks much for all the input-some things are difficult to learn from a book.
     
  8. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Abouttime, they look wonderful, healthy, contented pigs and I would have no compunction about keeping one if looks in a photo are anything to go by.

    If this farmer isn't seeing his pigs on a daily basis I'm surprised he has any at all survive. I get peeved with people who throw things in a paddock and think they'll manage on their own. Even cattle and sheep need daily observation over calving and lambing.

    My opinion is, go for it. Whatever problems this guy has are more likely to be environmental rather than genetic.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  9. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    Ronney-thank you for taking the time to look at them-I'm certainly glad they look healthy-they sure do eat enough!
     
  10. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    posting is an autopsy. Doubt the guy would do it. John, with PRRS doesn't the litter abort usually? I can't remember. Your pigs look fine I think.
     
  11. Faith Farm

    Faith Farm Well-Known Member

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    Did you mention the boers were running with the sows in the
    same field while pigglets are hitting the ground? The boers
    will try to rebreed the sow now and fight over her trying.
    Many the pigglets will be killed when this happens. We have
    been having pigglets from 2 of our sows lately. The boers
    have been seperated into individual pens until the pigglets
    are bigger. The farrowing huts are being utilized as we
    brought up the sows a few days before birthing. No smashed
    pigglets and another sow due in 2 weeks. We will move the
    pigglets to a special area where they can feed and play away
    from the adults but still nurse MAMA.
     
  12. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    Autopsy? Not likely as he attributes all deaths to confining the sows and the piglets being laid on. No, no boars when the pigs were born-prior and after.
     
  13. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Abouttime...your pigs look absolutely wonderful. They appear very healthy in the still photos.

    Buckshotboers...PRRS is a very weird virus. weaner/grower mortality can hit 15%. I just threw that out there...there is a myriad of things that could be wrong of course. Usually the most likely explanation is the correct one. It is likely just very bad management of sow/litter.

    I wouldn't buy from this guy in the future whether it is a disease problem or not...There are lots of other producers doing things properly that should be rewarded over someone that isn't.
     
  14. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    I I would not buy from this joker either.
     
  15. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Does he vaccinate the sow or the piglets? I notice he docked their tails. Did he provide a tetanus antitoxin? If they are kept on concrete they need an iron shot at birth. If the stalls are depleted and dirty or the sows malnourished, they may need an iron shot anyway. From your posts it seems that mismanagement would be the issue. A person should inspect his livestock at least once a day. I observe mine all day long (but I'm a nutcase that way). If your going to breed for pork only, keeping a few and selling a few, I think it is worth the risk to breed them. If you are going to breed for anything else (4H, commerical venture, something like that) I'd advise to get a documented bloodline.
     
  16. Abouttime

    Abouttime Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, John-
    Surprisingly, or perhaps not, in this area of SW Va, there doesn't appear to be that many people with pigs-my choice locally was very limited. I guess I will have to expand the search for future purchases, although being this is mostly a one-person operation, traveling is difficult, as I like to stay close to the livestock.

    No, no vaccinations-no concrete, though-just woods-I would be breeding strictly for home use.

    Truly, thanks all for taking the time to look, think and offer suggestions.
     
  17. Faith Farm

    Faith Farm Well-Known Member

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    Abouttime,
    We raise on a 5+ acre paddock of grass and woods
    feeder hogs of 75+ pounds to 250 lb finish. Pigglets
    are hitting the ground now, 22 @ last count with 5 more sows
    expecting. Duroc boer, Hampshire/ Landros mix boer and sows.
    8 Sows have a 10 acre paddock of grass & woods. We will sell
    pigglets Sept for $60.00 each. Our farm is 55 miles West of Lynchburg.
    We have a farm market stand @ the Lynchburg Farmers Market on
    Saturdays, 7AM - 2 PM. For your info.