Sow's milk appears to be drying up

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FleurThompson
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:18 am

Sow's milk appears to be drying up

Post by FleurThompson » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:27 am

We have recently taken on two kunekunes- they were rescued a few months ago , and the sow was found to be pregnant. Anyway she has had 12 piglets- now two weeks old. Her teats appear to be drying up- at least 6 of them! My question is can she cope with only 6 teats/ Haven't witnessed feeding time as yet. All 12 piggies seem fine - this has only just happened yesterday- need advice on what to do please!

claire86
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: Sow's milk appears to be drying up

Post by claire86 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:16 pm

Hi! Few ideas:
- does the sow seem uncomfortable? Are the glands swollen or hot? Is there an abnormal discharge from them? If the answer to any of these is yes, the sow has mastitis and will need treatment from a vet.
- observe feeding time, see how the piglets feed. Normally each piglet will have their 'own' teat. If for some reason the piglets are sharing teats and therefore leaving some un-suckled, these will dry up. Conversely, see if the affected teats are being sucked 'dry' by the greediest piglets. If this is the case, the milk production should continue.
- if the piglets are struggling with the lack of milk, at 2 weeks old, they are a little young to be weaned so you may need to supplement with hand-rearing (here I defer to others on this forum who have more experience than me when it comes to rearing piglets!)

Claire

FleurThompson
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:18 am

Re: Sow's milk appears to be drying up

Post by FleurThompson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:11 pm

Thankyou Claire
She is coping well with 12 hungry piglets, they do take a while to sort out their own teats , but seem to be getting enough, the back teats are bigger than the front ones if that makes any sense, but there is no discharge or redness, and she doesn't seem uncomfortable, so i think we are fine. They are now nearly three weeks old,can i start offering food do you think?

claire86
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: Sow's milk appears to be drying up

Post by claire86 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:09 pm

Again, there are more qualified people on here to talk about rearing and weaning piglets than me. I would say 3 weeks, which is the age of commercial weaning, is too young and would rather be looking at more like 8 weeks. But in that time, you can start introducing some feed.

Sumer
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:43 pm

Re: Sow's milk appears to be drying up

Post by Sumer » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:51 pm

This is For the next couple of days I kept a close eye on her and when I visibly saw drops of blood on the ground I bandaged her tail in an attempt to establish once and for all where the blood was coming from. The next morning the bandage was bloodstained and this I time I could visibly see small amounts of blood discharging from her vagina. The new vet who came believes (after liaising with a colleague) that she may have polycystic ovaries. She has been given a shot of antibiotics but is still bleeding. At the moment she is still well in herself and eating but I am afraid that if the bleeding doesn't stop she will eventually die or we will have to put her down. Does anyone have experience of something similar.....!!! 8)
Sumer

wendy scu
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Re: Sow's milk appears to be drying up

Post by wendy scu » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:53 pm

The piglets should be sharing hard feed with their mother by 10 - 14 days. A big litter like this can be weaned at 6 weeks as they will really take their toll on the sow, but I wouldn't wean any earlier

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