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Afbeelding: healthy_pigs_feeding

Healthy Pigs

A healthy pig can be identified by its curly tail, clean skin and a silk coat exempt from roughness and redness, with bright eyes, alert and aware of their surroundings and owners.

Your pigs should have well formed stools, a good body, healthy appetite and be able to move around without limping.  With a feeding pattern of twice a day, your pigs should come to you with a healthy appetite.

Sows can give birth to between 7 - 12 piglets on average, twice a year.  A sow's gestation period is 114 days (3months, 3 weeks and 3 days).

Care in a newborn piglet needs that little bit more attention, as they have no fat reserves and their digestive system will not yet be fully developed.  Most of the mortality in piglets is down to the lack of nutrient liquids and also hypothermia.  Coughing and starvation can be caused through dehydration and chilling, making them weak and susceptible to ailments.

The sooner the piglets start to suckle the better.  Piglets will drink approximately every 20 minutes in their first 48 hours, although the time between feeds will lengthen as the piglets get older.  More often than not they will favour one teat more than another and return to it every time.

Like most animals that are kept in captivity, pigs will thrive on routine.  They will be more settled if they are fed and watered at the same time each day, making them easier to handle.

By following a routine, it will be easier to spot and prevent problems that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.  It is important to carry out certain jobs on a regular basis and it will help build up a relationship between you and your pigs.