| When will I know when my pig(s) are in heat?|
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|Im not really new to raising hogs as I have been doing it for three years now. I raise my pigs for private sale and any that I have left over I take to the salebarn to get them sold and I have to say that some far even the salebarn pigs have been profitable or maybe I charge enough for the others that it offsets the loss at the sale barn. |
For the last three years though I have went to the sale barn to get my feeder pigs and this year I had one that I thought was a little runty so she grew alittle slower and was one of the last ones in the group that I thought I was going to get rid of. All summer my brother/partner and I had kicked around the idea of brooding for our pigs and save the lost/wasted time at the salebarn. So now I have a Hampshire to get bred in January and Im thinking of going to the salebarn next week to get one more brood sow. And having that said I am also new to the brooding of pigs and have some questions that hopefully some of you might be able to answer for me.
How do you know when your sow is in heat? I plan on A I ing them as I have no interest owning a boar.
How important ferrowing crates in todays brooding operation? As of now I only have one sow and not sure if I can get another for the money I am wanting to spend. May have to save one out of my current sow for next year so that I can have my two brooders.
And last I have heard that the piglest need some place to go to get protection if they feel threatened and was wondering I could just designate a corner of the pen and make it out of left over paneling?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Edited by gleanerman 12/23/2010 11:13
the place your food comes from- IOWA
Well Jeff, it would help to know your general location ( climate ) as to advise on proper farrowing methods.
For one thing, I would strongly advise NOT buying breeding stock through a sale barn, you will have every disease
known to swine; especially if your going to attempt farrowing.
I would suggest buying private, even if it means running a few extra miles, herd health is mandatory
weather you have 2 or 2000 head.
Regarding estrus, it will be pretty obvious with most sows or gilts, However some don't " show " unless there
is a boar around.
Crates, vs pens, I actually like crates as a tool, not as a permanent solution. In other words, I like to farrow in a crate and move them out to a pen, shed, pasture whatever as soon as they can bounce around good ( 4-10 days )
and the weather allows. However, depending on breed, most will do fine farrowing wherever she see fit, and will make a proper nest out of straw, grass, whatever is around. That said- once in a while a sow will have 14 perfect uniform pigs and then commence to lay ( smother ) one or 2 at a time.......
There are too many variables to describe here but certainly worth the effort.
Man, are you in for a learning exercise ! Good Luck !
|Well I live in Northeastern Indiana and at the time of breeding I would like to get her bred in January|
near dyersville iowa
|without a boar around..it may be tough. However, if you push on a sows back and she just stands dead still, she ready to breed. If you will get that response without a boar around, it may happen, it may not. Farrowing can be done under a wide variety of conditions, there is an organic guy around here who farrows in huts set on top of compost piles in the winter..How that actually works i dont know, but he claims to be doing it. Years ago, when we had too many sows for the crates we had, we would farrow them in the crates and when we needed room would kick the sows out in a big pen with a heavy gate across one corner to make an area for the little ones. I dont think piglets necessarily need a place to run to, as they tend to lay up against the sow for the first couple of days anyway, especially if there is no alternate heat source. Without crates, more pigs will tend to get stepped on/laid on, etc.|
|Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounds like you want to keep a slow doing gilt for breeding? If so I would recomend you rethink that idea, I doubt that you would want to have them genetics for your whole heard.as far as farrowing I would use a Aframe with bedding bars. basically a couple sheets of plywood tp make an A shape and two 2by4's to keep the sow from laying on the pigs. After they farrow and are weaned the sow should come in heat in 3-5 days after weaning, she should lock up when you press on her back. As far as coming in heat the first time I can't help you much would be pretty tough. If you buy a gilt the move should make her cycle. there also is a shot I think it is called Leutolice SP? Seems to me that will make them cycle. Good Luck!!|
|School Of Hard Knock|
just a tish NE of central ND
|Ummm..... ya. you gota take a look at that what-ch-macall-it female thing a ma- jig sticking out the back end and notice the red swelling when whe is coming into heat........then try the "hand on the back and see if she stands thing"....Its easy to miss it if you are human and not a boar pig. I couldnt tell you a thing about AI'ing a hog though. You local AI rep and tec probably help you out in this department. |
As for farrowing pens. All we ever did was to made a tall strong plank gate probably3- 4 foot long x 3 foot high and gate off a corneer in the (5x10 pens) pen with the gate lifted up 10-12 inches (bolted in place)or so so the piglets could get under the gate to safety. Hang a heet lamp in there a ways up and bed the corner for the piglets and the sow along the corner.The sow will bed down there for birth most times if it is cool. hogs love the straw.Cold piglets love and need the warmth.
Iowadad - 12/23/2010 21:35
Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounds like you want to keep a slow doing gilt for breeding? If so I would recomend you rethink that idea, I doubt that you would want to have them genetics for your whole heard.as far as farrowing I would use a Aframe with bedding bars. basically a couple sheets of plywood tp make an A shape and two 2by4's to keep the sow from laying on the pigs. After they farrow and are weaned the sow should come in heat in 3-5 days after weaning, she should lock up when you press on her back. As far as coming in heat the first time I can't help you much would be pretty tough. If you buy a gilt the move should make her cycle. there also is a shot I think it is called Leutolice SP? Seems to me that will make them cycle. Good Luck!!
In regards to the runty statement that I had made in the original post. I dont think she is actually a runt, I think she was about a month younger than the rest of the group that the fellow had just thrown in right before he brought them to market. All the rest of them were averaged out to about 60 pounds whenI bought them and the she was about 35-40 poounds and appeared younger than the rest of them. She grew pretty normally through the summer, just that since I believ she was younger she was never as big as the others. I bought that group back in the last part of May and now she is about 350 pounds, maybe alittle heavier than that.
Edited by gleanerman 12/24/2010 09:30
|Ok, that makes more sense, LOL. good Luck and Merry Christmas!!!|
Cisco, IL Parkersburg, IL
|Don't buy at a sale barn as mentioned above you will have ever disease in the state. |
I would consider buying bred gilts from somewhere to get started. The reason for that is it will be easier for you to learn to check for heat with a few sows then gilts.
Feel free to email me any questions as you get into your project I would be glad to help out if I can. email is in profile
Ludington/Manistee MI area
|My wife does chores over 50% of the time and it seems our sows/gilts growl at her when they are in heat. A boar will do the decting for you I thought of using AI but I didn't want to deprive a fellow male of what god put us earth to do. As far as a place for the piglets to go we have some short apple boxes flipped over with notches cut out of them and heating mats from Farmtek for the piglets to keep cozy on my wife does a good job of training them to go the box when born.|
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