IMPORTANT FACTS ON BABY PIG MANAGEMENT Part 1
1. Good care and management in the farrowing quarters has a major influence on the number of liveborn piglets that are weaned and on how well they perform in later stages of production.
2. According to a 1995 survey of swine management practices in the United States, the average number of preweaning piglet deaths per litter on farms was .88 or 9.4% of those born alive.
3. The two leading causes of preweaning deaths were laid on (48.7%) and starvation (20.5%). Other surveys have shown that over 50% of the deaths occur in the first two to three days of life.
4. A successful caretaker understands that newborn piglets have certain physical characteristics which make them very reliant on proper management and care.
5. Piglets are born without any antibody protection, their bodies contain fat energy for about one day of life, and they cannot regulate internal body temperature well until they are a few days old.
6. Thus, anything that may lead to a reduction in milk production or consumption, such as chilling or exposure to disease organisms, compromises the health and well-being of newborn piglets.
7. Piglets born alive fall into two broad categories—normal and disadvantaged. It is important to recognize the difference between normal and disadvantaged piglets so appropriate assistance can be provided.
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8. Normal piglets will be born quickly, get on their feet within a minute or two and be suckling in about 15 minutes. They move from teat to teat, taking a disproportionately large share of the most concentrated, immunoglobulin-rich colostrum.
9. If the sow is a good mother and the farrowing environment is adequate, normal piglets thrive without much help from the caretaker.
10. Disadvantaged piglets are ones weakened by the rigors of the birth process, are lightweight, have a congenital defect(s), are slow reaching the udder, or are chilled.
WATCH OUT FOR PART 2…
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