Management of New Born Piglets

A few minutes after birth the umbilical cord may be pulled gently away or cut if necessary(to about 5cm length). After birth, the navel of each piglet should be soaked in a cup of iodine solution to prevent inflammation and tetanus. Each piglet should be rubbed carefully, dry with a cloth.

  1. After the first one or two days, the digestive system of the piglets breaks down the colostrum and its ability to protect from diseases is lost.
  2. The piglets can be given additional feed of goat or cows milk, or a mashed bean porridge to which a little sugar has been added. If the milk produced by the sow is too little to meet the needs of the piglets or the sow completely neglects the piglets, they should be put on another sow or reared on cow or goats milk.

Make sure the piglets are able to suck from the udder as soon as possible after birth. Their sucking will encourage the sow to let down her milk. Weak piglets may need to be assisted. It is important that the piglets immediately take advantage of the first milk called colostrums. Colostrums should be taken by all piglets on the same day they are born. If take at this time, the colostrums is able to protect the piglets against diseases.

Feeding Piglets Whose Mother Does Not Produce Enough Milk

  1. I f the sow does not produce enough milk the piglets should be given to another sow which farrowed or gave birth up to three days. This sow should have fewer piglets than the number of teats on her udder. This is because the teats which are not being used by piglets dry off after three days. Piglets normally take control of one teat at birth and continue to feed from it until they are weaned. Transfer extra piglets to the sow with fewer piglets after disguising them with spray which has a strong smell e.g engine oil/kerol diluted with water to last at least 1 or 2 days.
  2. All piglets should be sprayed as soon as introduction is done so that the foster mother doesn’t recognize its own as foreigners. If there is no sow to take over feeding the piglets, they will have to be given extra food by hand. Goat or cows milk can be given to the piglets in the same way as for motherless or orphaned piglets.

Management of New Born Piglets: Colostrums Substitute

Colostrums substitute is a complete nutritional “colostrum substitute” for new born piglets containing sources of live, viable natural-occurring micro-organisms that need to be substituted when sufficient amounts of colostrums are not available to the piglets because of poor milk letdown or when the sow will not allow the piglets to nurse.

Management of New Born Piglets: Teeth trimming:

It is usually necessary to trim the piglets teeth  to prevent them biting the udder. The piglets are born with needle sharp teeth which may injure the sows udder and prevent the sow from letting the piglets suckle. The piglets would then be left to starve. Only the points of the teeth should be removed. If any more is removed there is risk of damaging the mouth. When trimming the teeth the tongue of the piglets should be rolled back to avoid injuring it.

Management of New Born Piglets: Anaemia or Iron Deficiency

a). Oral Iron Supplement:

Oral Iron Supplement is an iron supplement for newborns. The manufacturing of it uses a special, chelated process that bonds the available iron thus allowing the piglets system to safely absorb the iron in order to raise and maintain adequate iron levels.

The ideal method of administering oral supplement, to the new born piglet is to rub the liquid iron onto the udder of sow. When the piglets move from teat to teat they will slowly absorb the iron thus reducing the chances of any toxic reaction due to excessive amounts of iron. No injections are required when using oral iron supplement thereby eliminating chance of toxic reaction due to iron dextran.

Anaemia is caused by iron deficiency. This iron is needed for the formation of haemoglobin. This is an important problem, especially for young piglets kept indoors. At birth the piglets have about 50mg of iron in their body. They receive additional 1-2 mg/day from milk while they need 7mg during the first week. It is obvious that the quantity of iron decreases rapidly and if not supplemented. The piglets become very pale a few weeks after birth and their growth slows down.

This van be prevented by:

  1. Giving the piglet (3 and 10 days after birth) iron injection ( 1 and 2ml respectively) IM preferably at neck muscles.
  2. Oral iron-paste containing iron is put in the mouth within 24 hours of birth
  3. Feeding compost must be of good quality and supplied daily. Compost

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