Anemia in piglets
- Gums, tongue or inside of eyelids are pale (normal color is
- Loss of appetite.
- Piglet is weak and inactive.
If left untreated, the disease worsens. The piglet's resistance
to infections weakens. It can easily catch more serious diseases such as
pneumonia and diarrhea. (See Coughs and colds, page 7 and Diarrhea and
dehydration, page 9.) Big piglets are usually affected first.
Nutritional anemia can occur at any time of a pig's life.
However, anemia caused by iron deficiency usually occurs in week-old baby pigs
that are kept in pens without access to soil.
Newborn pigs are born with only a small supply of iron and they
eat little dry feed before 3-4 weeks of age. It is usually necessary to
administer iron to piglets. Milk, which is extremely low in iron, is the major
or only part of the diet of these pigs.
Prevention and treatment
Anemia in newborn pigs can be prevented by providing extra iron.
Some people recommend providing red soil to newborn pigs to allow them to eat
the soil as a source of iron. Some plants that are rich in iron are commonly
used to prevent and treat anemia.
- Grind 40 g of fresh leaves of Momordica charantia or Moringa
oleifera with 5-10 ml of water. Handsqueeze the ground leaves to get the juice.
Pass the juice through a cheesecloth. Place the extracts in an uncovered
container and concentrate them by placing the container in direct sunlight or
inside a covered box. Give as a drench to the piglet in one dose each during the
4th and 5th day after birth.
For future use, keep the extracts in a bottle or any suitable
container. Cover and store in a cool place.(Philippines, Thailand. 1, 2, 3, 4,
Note: Farmers prefer to give Moringa oleifera over
Momordica charantia because pesticides are sometimes applied to Momordica
charantia, but rarely to Moringa oleifera.
- Fresh Momordica charantia fruits are
fed to pregnant sow during gestation as a source of iron.