The Farrowing Process
Most people believe that piglets appear magically, however it's really a long process. Farrowing is the process used by swine even though it starts before labor. Farrowing is a tedious task. You must first decide when to breed your animal. This will depend on what livestock shows you would like to compete in with the offspring that will beproduced. You must carefully dictate the desired date of birth, their age approaching livestock shows, and their desired weight. Swine carry their young for 114 days on average. As a result, if you breed your animal on May 1, then the female should farrow around August 21. This information is necessary to complete later steps in this unique process.
After you have considered the facts you must know for future results, you then need to begin the farrowing process. Sterilizing and disinfecting to help prevent diseases is one of the important items to consider when it comes to cleaning out the farrowing crates. Disease prevention, which can reoccur year to year, can be collected when farrowing crates are not occupied by new tenants. This is required do to the piglets having low immune systems while at a young age.
Once we have disinfected the crates, we must disinfect the new swine that is brought into the barn by washing them. Swine have a tendency of carrying staph infection and it can be passed throughout the farrowing period to the piglets if the sows are not properly cleaned. Both of these items are completed moments before entering the sows into the farrowing crates.
After this is complete, we put the sows into the farrowing crates to allow adequate time for adjustment. Adjusting to the small space is pertinent for the sows to become comfortable and begin nesting. This process takes place 1-5 days before the sows due date. The number of days is determined by the attitude and how the sow is acting. If she is showing signs of labor, she will be put in the farrowing crate sooner rather than later.
Now that the sow is in the farrowing crate, labor is near and we must check often for signs of farrowing. We look for things such as, droppings of milk or even restlessness. The sow needs close attention and care before, during and after the farrowing process. Paying close attention to everything that is happening to the sow at that point in time is mandatory because she may go into labor earlier than expected.
After hours of preparation and waiting, the piglets have finally arrived. We have waited months for this moment. You would think the process would end here, but it doesn’t We must now “cut” the umbilical cord, clean the piglets, move them underneath a heat lamp and document the new litter.
Finally, enjoy the little piglets while you still have a chance to carry them around. Don’t forget to give them lots of attention because those are your babies and they deserve all the attention they can get. Also, don’t forget to check on momma and her piglets periodically. Now we can rest… well only for a short time because show season is just around the corner.
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