Treatment and prevention Of Crushing In Pigs
Living crushed piglets should be assessed for damage and supported until viable again or be killed humanely if unlikely to survive. Crushing can be prevented by correction of the underlying problem. Where the sow is ill (mastitis, erysipelas) and can be treated, the litter should be supported until she has recovered. When the problem cannot be resolved during the sucking period (lameness, serious illness), the litter may be fostered or reared artificially.
Sows with behavioural problems could be tranquillised or prevented from crushing by physical means, such as crates, but should be culled if the problem persists.
Husbandry measures can prevent crushing. The most useful short term measure is the use of a blowaway unit (Although I have not seen this in Nigeria’s pig farms} which produces a current of air beneath the sow each time she stands up and prevents piglets from settling underneath her, where they may be crushed. Farrowing crates should be adjusted for the size of the sow.
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Poor crate design can be corrected, but only in the longer term. Farrowing pen lighting should be adjusted and warm creeps provided to separate piglets from the sow, particularly at farrowing. Attendance at farrowing may reduce crushing. Fine bedding, such as sawdust should be provided. Piglet problems can be corrected by managing splay leg, treating infections and providing supplementary feeding
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