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Swine > Feeding & Nutrition

My pig just gave birth to 11 piglets in the middle of the night. When I came out in the morning one piglet was away from the mom and freezing cold. I warmed It up with warm towels. The mom didn't care for her and she wasn't strong enough to suck milk from the mom. The baby now sleeps in my room with towels wrapped around it. It shakes every few minutes. I feed it goodstart for newborn babies. Am I doing the right thing?


Yes, you are doing the right thing. Just be careful that you do not make it a house pet, that is if it is a domestic pig and not a pet (potbelly pig) pig. Raising orphan pigs is difficult and often unsuccessful. Some individuals have been successful using the following program: Protect the pig from cold, damp floors or a drafty condition. Feed whole cows milk or a commercial milk product. Use 1 tablespoonful Karo syrup per quart of cows milk. Warm milk to 100 degrees F for first 5 to 10 days. Feed every 2-4 hours first 7 days. Reduce to 4 times per day 2nd week. Reduce to 3 times per day 3rd week. Give one teaspoonful of warm mineral oil the 2nd day if pig did not get colostrum (first milk from the sow following birth of the pigs). Just give this one time.

Add 1 teaspoon of cod-liver oil to each pint of milk 2 or 3 times a week. A baby pig is born with about 7-10 days supply of iron in the liver. To prevent anemia, inject 2cc of iron dextran the 2nd or 3rd day following birth. Start the orphan pig with a bottle and nipple. They soon can be taught to drink from a pan. At birth give each orphan pig 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk 7 or 8 times a day. Then gradually increase each day's feeding. The pig will eat oatmeal about the 7th day. Also, please be aware that in todays swine industry, many producers are weaning pigs from the sow at 14-16 days and providing a feed, which you can buy commercially (check with your local feed supply store) that the baby pig at two weeks can digest and utilize. You will want to put your pigs on this diet as soon as possible.

Another "recipe" for "man-made" milk for newborn pigs includes the mixing of: 1 whole egg 1 quart of milk 1 pint of half and half (a mixture of milk and cream which is available at any grocery store) Feed as indicated above.

Sincerely, Gilbert Hollis Extension Swine Specialist Department of Animal Sciences University of Illinois

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