A sow is a pig with piglets or a female giving offspring. Such an individual occupies an important position on the pig farm, where the focus may be, both on meat and on breeding. If the female animal is chosen correctly, then the required number of young, healthy and gaining weight will be obtained. In the article we will tell all the main things about the care of the pregnant uterus, its nutrition and habitat conditions. And also about the period of pregnancy and the state after childbirth.
In pig breeding, a sow is an animal that produces offspring. A complete, healthy individual is able to give birth to 20 or more piglets per year. This is a good advantage when pigs are bred for sale in live weight or carcasses (for meat).
If you need to buy a pig, which will be designed to produce offspring, then you need to find out details about the fertility of its ancestors. In previous generations, females were supposed to bring 10-12 pigs per litter. When purebred animals are bred, you only need to buy purebreds.
If production for meat prevails, then for the birth of offspring, pigs from the breeding of landrace and large white breeds are suitable. Such females are eventually reduced with males of bacon breeds, then the young will be large and early. There are options for obtaining from the piglets nonfat pork, similar in taste to beef.
If several female piglets are selected, then some of them leave those that grow better and gain weight quickly. All the others are rejected and grown, fed for slaughter (for meat). By 5-5.5 months, finally, you need to decide which animals will go to the tribe. The weight of pigs should reach 85-90 kg.
Pigs per tribe
The external data of a piglet can tell a lot about it, in particular, whether it can be used for breeding or only for meat. Usually the female is acquired when she is 1.5-2 months old. The following criteria will allow you to make the right choice for your future sow:
- the pig has large hooves, straight and strong legs;
- accurate support on 2 center hoofs, without lowering on the metacarpus or lateral hooves;
- the gait is straight, not wobbly;
- healthy genitalia, without inflammation and injury;
- wide and straight back, narrow shoulders of a pig and a long body;
- There are 7-8 pairs of nipples that are evenly distributed and protrude.
Preparation of the pig for the first mating begins at 7-12 months and depends on the breed, with its weight of 100-130 kg. Then the offspring will be strong. The same goes for the boar. Although he is ready to mate already at 6 months, one must wait for the full physical maturity of the animal.
Individuals with and without offspring
A pregnant pig is called pregnant. This period lasts from 112 to 114 days. There are also single sows - those that have already taken away the pigs, and they are waiting for the next fruitful insemination (the time for the hunt has not come yet). On a large farm, usually in a month they spend the next pairing, because long periods are not economically profitable.
Next, tell all about the sow, which is waiting for offspring.
A pregnant pig, that is, a pregnant one, ceases to strive for mating, it stops estrus. At the same time, there is indifference in behavior towards what is happening around. Body weight gradually increases, and the size of the udder and nipples increase. Sometimes the female will sit on the ground for no reason. It is for such signs that determine what happened pregnancy. All this continues until the sow farms.
With a false pregnancy, all these factors disappear in two weeks. Then they pair it again, but with another boar.
If possible, the presence of pregnancy in pigs is determined by a blood test or by ultrasound. When the fact is confirmed, the animals need to provide a comfortable environment, without stress.
In the later stages of pregnancy, with the help of a visual inspection, determine the number of fruits and their location. The piglet is carefully laid on its side and with the help of strokes it probes the front part of the belly. This is done just above the mammary glands. During this period, the weight of the female grows even more rapidly and the abdominal cavity increases. The animal becomes inactive and rests for a long time. This means that the day of birth is near.
Problems at the stage of pregnancy
Problems usually occur due to improper feeding and poor animal care. Sometimes provocateurs are diseases, various birth defects of the pig. They can influence the development of the fruit and lead to their death.
Abortions in sows are a major problem. The embryos are completely or partially resorbed, or dead or premature fetuses are expelled from the uterus. One of the main reasons is the diet, which lacks protein, minerals, vitamins A, D and E. If piglets are born, they are prone to rickets or not viable.
Abortion in pigs can cause infectious diseases. If there was an infection, then all pregnant females in the household will suffer. Other causes are injuries caused by crowded keeping of animals, blows, the result of passing through narrow passages.
To find out what could be the causes of abortion, feed and abortive fruits are sent to the laboratory for research. According to the results take appropriate action. Improve the quality of feed and maintenance, make up a different diet, pigs are subjected to treatment or culling.
If a pregnant sow broke a leg, then you need to fix it, pull it out and put tires and plaster on the sides. Usually the vet handles this. In such a situation, care for a pregnant pig is quite difficult. Estimated gestational age, what value the uterus carries in the household and the cost of rehabilitation. If costs are high, then the female can be sent for slaughter.
From the fact that a sow eats, depends on its productivity and health of the young. The diet is made depending on the age of the piglets. If a pig is less than two years old, then it is growing and you need more feed. In the first half of pregnancy, less nutrients are always needed, as the embryos grow slowly.
The table shows the approximate norms of the use of products per one pregnant sow per day:
In winter, emphasis is placed on the roots (from 4 kg) to the third month of pregnancy of the pig, and in the subsequent period up to 6 kg. The diet includes bran, barley, rye, corn. The right amount of dairy products can be mixed with concentrates. Kitchen waste before serving must be boiled.
In the summer, the sow well eats grass and succulent feed. The ideal solution is walking the pasture. Must be enough clover, alfalfa, green wheat. Pigs can be fed with beet leaves or cabbage leaves.
The best option when a sow eats twice a day at the same time. Water is provided in unlimited quantities.
Appearance of offspring
Before the survey, the sow shows anxiety, walks with a litter in the teeth in the shed. Then she can calm down and lie on her side. You need to prepare clean wipes, hot water, gloves. For processing the umbilical cord iodine, scissors and cord.
After fights and attempts the pig brings the first little pig. Subsequent cubs appear approximately every 25 minutes. The survey takes about 6 hours.
On average, 10-12 piglets can be obtained in one litter from a pig. During the first 45 minutes of life, they should receive colostrum, but first they wipe them, remove mucus from the nose and mouth. Then the umbilical cord is processed. In the article "The content of small pigs" details of care.
There are factors that affect the milk production of sows. This breed of animal, age, number of babies born and their health. Good young animals qualitatively suck milk and ensure its flow. Weak piglets are not capable of it and therefore lactation can fade.
Features feeding lactating sows with piglets is the stability of the diet and the concentration of nutrients. Milk, reverse, whey and even simple water in abundance, have a good effect on lactation. Walking also normalizes the milk production of sows and their future productivity.
Difficulties after farrowing
Taking care of a pig with piglets is no less responsible than the content of pregnant sows. It is necessary to allocate a separate place, maintain cleanliness there, ensure a dry litter. Details about in the article "Cages for sows and piglets."
Farmers can face problems of cannibalism in pigs and aggression towards piglets. Therefore, her behavior should be monitored carefully and, if necessary, separated children.
To face cannibalism in pigs is very unpleasant. The animal first eats the afterbirth, then the dead cubs and can get to its living piglets. Timely removal of the placenta, proper feeding before farrowing, and abundant drinking after, will help solve this problem.
Consider why the sow does not eat after the survey. For the first time it should be left alone and give a drink. Then you can offer a liquid talker of oatmeal and bran. It also helps with constipation. If after several hours the animal refuses to eat, then perhaps her stomach is worried. It is not necessary to feed the pig abundantly immediately. The amount of food increases gradually and reaches full volume only on day 7.
If the sow does not allow cubs to itself, then the sharp fangs of the newborn can be the cause. They squeeze the nipples, delivering discomfort. Youngsters can be sawed. When a pig continues to behave aggressively, the piglets are removed until the moment when it calms down. Sometimes they give an injection of a sedative (Stresnil, 1 ml per 12 kg of weight).
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