Young gilt farrowing

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by HillsOfSWVA, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    Here is some pictures of my farrowing gilt. I've read alot of different posts on here and got alot of different advice from it all which I really appreciate. I'm curious what you guys and gals think about my pig. She is very young, accidentally got pregnant during her first heat. She is not bagging up or dropping milk but she looks like a loaf of bread underneath and her teats are pointing out. Mammory glands have gotten much bigger but still no milk. Her vulva has swelled significantly over the last couple weeks and gotten much darker. She has made a big nest, and has been busy chewing hay, tail twitching for a while too. I read that she may have discharge prior to actual farrowing and that her breathing will increase significantly. Is there any other info that I can pick from the group that would tell me a little more or put me at ease? I am worried because the boar is a bigger pig and because she is so young. I don't wanted her to crush em or eat them! I want to be there when she farrows but I'm staying away as much as I can.. checking on her every 3-6 hrs or so..
    The first picture is today and the second is yesterday. I washed the poop off it so I could see what color it was turning a little better. It's much more poofier today.
     

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  2. Bruce King

    Bruce King Well-Known Member

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    The milk will start to flow less than 24 hours before birth, so if you see milk you've got a timeframe. Being a gilt there's some chance that she will do things that are not normal for her because she's all worked up by hormones and inexperience.

    The amount of bagging will vary by breed; I can't tell what breed this pig is from the pictures - duroc or Hereford would be my guess, but a picture from the side would give me a better idea of where she is. If she's nesting I'd guess less than a week to farrow, but nesting can be just comfort, too. Pigs like to arrange the area they sleep in and it might be that, or it could be impending farrow.

    Breeding a young gilt is pretty much fine; the fact that she bred early is a sign of a good pig, in my book. Her body will work out how many pigs she can gestate. If you haven't looked into vaccinations for your breeding
    stock I'd suggest looking at farrowsure gold or the equivalent - look it up and read about what it does. Once the piglets are born, you might consider mycoflex or circoflex for your new pigs. Vaccines are a funny business; by the time you figure out you have a problem it's too late to administer them; I'm offering this information in the event that you have mortality and need to figure something out.

    you are at a lower risk of her suffocating her pigs if she is a younger, lighter pig. Be careful about the amount of bedding you supply; less bedding is better when it comes to suffocation deaths for piglets. If you wanted to make things a little better if you were to rig up a heat lamp that the sow cannot get to the piglets will go sleep under the lamp and return to mom to nurse and be a little safer that way. DO NOT BURN DOWN YOUR BARN WITH YOUR HEAT LAMP - a solid wood wall with an 8" gap or door on the bottom and the heat lamp on the far side of it over a towel is a good setup, or fence off a corner of her pen with 2x4s and hang the light in there. The sow cannot be allowed to get to the cord or the light, and the temperature on the towel should be 100 degrees or so. Don't use straw or other bedding that can be bunched up and touch the lamp and ignite.

    Be careful around her after birth; some pigs get very possessive of their piglets even if they were otherwise even-tempered before they gave birth. The first 24 hours after birth she'll want to stay as still as possible, and make sure that she's got some space away from other pigs to do that. After the initial period talk to her when you approach and heed her warnings. If she's barky and gets up as you approach give her some space.

    "stay as still as possible" - she will not eat or drink for 24 hours. that's normal. She will go back into heat 3 days after birth, so be prepared for that - your boar will want to breed her, and that's fine, but best to do that by moving her out from where her pigs are so that they don't get stepped on or squashed while the breeding is taking place. after breeding she goes back in with the pigs. Your boar will break into the stall if physically possible when she's in heat, so pen him far enough away that he cannot smell her or see her if you don't want that to happen.

    the farrowing will happen in two waves, about an hour apart, and take 3 to 6 hours total. Look for placenta delivery as the "end" of each wave. The sow will eat the placenta and probably eat any dead piglets at the same time; don't clean it up, give her a chance to recycle the nutrients in natures way. If it's still there in 24 hours then you can remove.
     
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  3. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for such a thorough answer. She is a Hereford and I will include a picture of her. She is not bagging up. I put a wall up at the end of her pallet house with a gap at the bottom and a heat lamp on a 2x4. I currently have straw in the house and the small area for the piglets. I will probably take your advice about the fire hazard and put a rubber mat down for the piglets.
    I feel like either I'm wrong about the expected date and she is going to take longer to farrow OR she is just not going to bag up like normal.
    I go and check on her one time in the middle of the night to be sure I don't miss her farrowing. I also spend time with her during that time.. sitting there quietly and watching her. When she wakes up I rub her head and she seems to like it pretty good. I go in her house at feeding time just to see what's going on in there. She comes to check out what I'm doing sometimes, but she doesn't act mad about it. She gets a little excited, I rub her head and I go about my business and so does she.
    The boar is in a separate paddock but the houses are together. It's a few pallets thick between them and he couldn't break through but the fence between them is a pallet fence with electric on both sides... Hopefully he doesn't tear through it but he probably could bust through the fence if he really wanted to.
    I have been watching her vulva and breathing and rubbing her belly to see how the mammory glands are growing. I feel like she is imminent but I question it too because I have no experience.. her vulva has been swelling up and getting dark and her mammory glands are growing.
    I am overthinking the whole thing for sure.. but I really want to be there when she has them because she is our only gilt and there's alot of time and money invested... Be a shame to come out with no piglets and have to start over again.
    These pictures are from 4 days ago, her belly looks a little bigger today but no bagging up
     

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  4. Bruce King

    Bruce King Well-Known Member

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    She's not very pregnant or maybe not pregnant; you've got at least weeks before you have any pigs. Did you see the boar mate with her? It's 114 days or so after mating that a pig will typically farrow, give or take a few days, so if you have a mating timeframe you can get a good feel for when it's likely.

    She's a good looking gilt; body condition is good. back has a nice arch to it.

    Handling your gilt is great. Getting her used to you around and touching her and
    being a positive in her life - food, scratching, attention - is good. But even so
    remember that everything can change when a pig farrows and by no fault of yours or hers, nature has its own script.

    It's always fun to get a pig to flop over in joy at having its belly rubbed.
     
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  5. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    They have been in the lot together since she was young. She went into her first heat around 5 months old and I thought he got her for sure. She hasn't went back into heat since the first time and her hood was pointing up until recently. Her vulva has been swelling and getting darker the last few weeks. Could it be.. that maybe she absorbed the babies? Because he was pretty rough on her? He tossed her off the feed bowls pretty rough sometimes. I didn't separate until 3 weeks before the estimated farrowing date. She is still young about 9 months old now. The boar is much bigger than her
     
  6. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    We know roundabout when she went into her first heat so her estimated date would be anytime this week but could also be next week... We didn't think she would get pregnant her first heat, but then we thought she did since no more heat and hood was pointed up
     
  7. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    Here's ol Nosie Rosie this morning.
     

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  8. Bruce King

    Bruce King Well-Known Member

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    She looks like she may be bagging out - having mammary gland expansion; but she's not at a size
    where I'd be expecting pigs in the next few days. A week minimum is my guess. I dont think she
    slipped the litter due to boar contact; pigs are contact animals and shrug off pushing matches.
     
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  9. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    P1 sows (was gilt) don't tend to bag up much ahead so that would not worry me.
     
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  10. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    Dried white stuff on her vulva today.. Could be discharge? Normal? Does this give any more clues to when she will farrow?
     

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  11. bobp

    bobp Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert by any means, but she doesn't show any real swelling to me?
     
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  12. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    Well.. hopefully she is actually pregnant! If not, no harm no foul. I'm still going to keep my fingers crossed and her separate for the next few weeks. I was hoping to learn more about other people's farrowing experiences and maybe be able to know before she has them (if she does). She does look more swelled since I moved her 2 weeks ago, but I don't have any pictures of what it looked like before... This far in the game, I have been taking a step back and not worrying so much this week. I do have a friend down the road that has farmed pigs for a long time and they think she looks piggie but she is a week or more out. Hopefully she has babies and they grow up and turn into bacon!
     
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  13. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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  14. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    It's not the best picture, but she is actually swelling now. I jumped the gun and moved her really early in the start of this thread. It's nice to finally see her look prego! Her belly is getting bigger everyday, but still no bagging. It's so good to finally see her looking prego.. I was starting to doubt myself and my boar and gilt! Thankfully they proved to be that they are good at doing pig stuff! I will post as she changes and time goes on.. hopefully she will give me more clues as to the exact time she is going to pop out the little bacon bits! There are ALOT of people around here patiently waiting for their arrival!
     
  15. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    I think I've been talking about her having babies to everyone I know everytime I see them since Christmas or before.. maybe even Thanksgiving hahaha
     
  16. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    You were right Bob.. she is swelling now though!
     
  17. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    The advantage of moving her into a private space early is she gets used to it and you're not likely to miss the farrowing - e.g., you avoid having her farrow somewhere else such as with other pigs.

    The disadvantage of moving her into a private space early is more labor for you and less socializing for her. As they get closer to farrowing they tend to not want to socialize.

    In the photo she looks like she's >10 days from farrowing but I don't really have enough visual to make a better guess and gilts are harder to estimate than sows.

    -Walter
     
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  18. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    I don't think she is close but very happy to finally see some swelling. Prior to today there was no real swelling and I had it in my head that there was for awhile.. mostly because all my anticipation and lack of experience with farrowing. This is my first time! We bought feeders last year and we kept one of the males to use as a boar (Old Spot/Polled China) and purchased a young gilt early last year to grow and make bacon bits. It's backwards because we have a little bigger and older boar pig but that's what we did due to lack of knowledge and $$$ but hopefully it works out! I think she is big enough now to handle the babies, whereas a month or so ago it was questionable. I am pretty sure she still has a ways to go before actually farrowing. Her house flooded last week so I'm gonna rake out all the wet straw and put her some fresh in. I gave her wazine a few weeks back but i don't think she ate her food that day. She tossed her food bowl around her pen but I'm going to remedy that soon too. I'm going to dose her with Ivermectin in the next day or so too because she has some lice that I can't seem to remedy any other way. I have some pour on for cattle but am told that the paste is the best way to go.
     
  19. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    IMG_20180213_105653086.jpg

    This was her a week or so ago, belly dropping but not bagging. Like I say, I still think she is a ways out from farrowing but happy to see her showing signs! I will get better pictures soon!
     
  20. HillsOfSWVA

    HillsOfSWVA Well-Known Member

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    One more thing Howard.. when I made the separate lot for her, I left a small and heavily reinforced hole for her and the boar to touch noses and have some contact.. I didn't want her to be completely isolated.
    Also, I think she might have a UTI?? Or maybe it's just regular lady parts stuff where she is prego... But I have noticed chalky discharge on her vulva and she is having a hard time peeing.. peeing in spurts at times like a male with prostate problems. Today she peed really good except for at the end there was a considerable amount of dribble.. I'm thinking of dosing her with some penicillin?? Thoughts?
    I really don't want to give her meds if I don't have to.. I would like for her to be more all natural if I can help it.