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close this book Basic Husbandry Practices and Veterinary Care
View the document Foreword
View the document Body parts of farm animals
View the document Names of farm animals
View the document Farm animals and their young
View the document Livestock production
View the document Reproduction of poultry
View the document Breeding
View the document Care of calves and kids at birth
View the document Care of piglets
View the document Feeding orphaned animals
View the document Nutrition
View the document Deworming
View the document Vaccination
View the document Castration
View the document Hoof trimming
View the document Dehorning
View the document Clipping milk teeth of piglets
View the document Disinfection of pen and equipment
View the document Waste management and disposal
View the document Pesticides

Care of piglets

After birth, piglets are wet and covered with a thin mucus membrane. This membrane will dry and disappear very quickly. Most piglets will not need special attention from the hammer.

Reviving newborn piglets A newborn piglet may appear lifeless. Here are some methods for reviving piglets:

- Clear the piglet's nose and mouth of mucus.

- Gently shake the piglet with its head down to drain the mucus.

- Briskly rub a cloth up and down the piglet's back.

- Gently blow air into the piglet's nose; or hold the piglet on its back and gently pump the back legs forward and back until the piglet breathes.

- Dip the piglet into a bucket of water.

Keeping piglets warm

- Rub the piglet with vegetable oil.


- Put the piglets in a box.

- Provide a heating lamp (if electricity is available).

- Use chopped, dry rice straw or dried banana leaves for bedding. Slim rim hails straw or charcoal in a metal bucket to supply warmth.


Caution: Make sure the hot bucket does not burn the pigs or the pen.

Avoiding crushing newborn animals

Until they learn to get out from under her when she lies down, newborn piglets can easily be crushed by their mother. The harrowing area should have barriers to prevent the sow from crushing the piglets. After the first two week, the barriers can be removed.


Avoiding crushing newborn animals

Getting piglets to suckle

Sows develop their own styles of nursing. Some stand up; other lie an their side. After a day or two, each piglet will establish ownership of a teat. In a small litter, piglet may share the extra team. Weaker piglets get the hind teats. A sow may be able to feed more piglets than she has teats. But generally, it is better to take extra piglets away and place them with another recently harrowed sow or to raise the extra piglets on cow's milk.

Reminder: Make sure the piglets get the first milk from their natural mother before moving them to a foster mother.