One of the most exciting parts of raising pigs is farrowing season! I may be a bit biased, but nothing else compares to holding a newborn baby pig! Farrowing season is now upon us and baby pigs are starting to fill barns all around the country in anticipation of show season! From the moment these baby pigs are born, their Journey to the Ring begins!
Barn Prep & Processing
In my barn, we do many things to prepare for the babies even before they are born. The first thing we do is sanitize the farrowing crates and wash the sows. These steps are very important for biosecurity purposes to keep the babies as healthy as possible. Once the equipment has been disinfected, we will hang heat lamps over small rubber mats to prepare a warm, comfortable space in anticipation for the baby pigs! We try to keep the piglets’ area a little warmer (about 80-90°F) than their mommas because they are basically born without any condition on them.
Once the piglets are a few days old, they will go through a process to get them ready for their future show pig life! This process consists of ear notching, clipping tails and teeth, and giving them an iron supplement.
Baby pigs are born anemic, meaning they have an iron deficiency. This is especially true for pigs born in confinement and without access to soil containing iron. These pigs are then susceptible to various diseases. Therefore, it is very important that piglets are given an iron supplement a few days after birth.
Show Barn Must-Have
Another must-have in my farrowing barn is Show Gun®. This is another great step I add to processing my baby pigs. We give this product to help support piglets' immune systems and their digestive health. This is also a great way to encourage baby pigs to nurse more frequently. Administering a dose of Show Gun to each piglet allows them the chance for a healthy start and keeps them on the right path as they continue their journey to the ring!
The Journey to the Ring Begins
I hope I’ve given you just a glimpse of how we welcome baby show pigs on our farm.
We started out by sanitizing everything, warmed it up to about 85 degrees and then welcomed our pigs.
In the first few days we completed ear notching, clipping tails and teeth and gave them an iron supplement.
After that we gave them Show Gun to give them the best possible start.
From here, our journey continues to take shape.
Stay tuned as we discuss all things show – challenges, solutions and tips for success all while we have a whole lot of fun along the way.
Until next time ~ Taylor