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Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:11 pm
by MummyLlama
Hello,
I would be grateful for some advice on how to fatten up one of my pigs. I have three 'rescued pigs', they appear to be kunekune but obviously I can't be certain. They are grazers for sure and the two boys of a year old are fine and I have to take care they don't get too porky! I also have a Sow who is said to be about 2years old but she could be older. She was found tethered to rubble and was desperately thin. She bonded with the boys in the rescue centre so I took all three of them.
They have been with me for just over a month. I estimated her weight and feed her twice her daily recommended allowance of Allen and Paige food in 3 meals. I have also been adding some pasta, bananas, carrot, apples and she has plenty of grazing (1/2 acre very lush grass). She has put on some tummy weight but her sides are still quite tucked in and her hips have no fat covering and stick up. She is happy and possibly a little less sleepy than when I first had her. Her condition was very poor when I first had her and her skin was very dry and scaley but it is now starting to renew. Also her sparse coat is growing again.
I'd wondered if there was any anything I am missing to help her improve. I would give a horse a bit of Linseed oil but I'm unsure if that would be good for a pig. I also wondered if my Llama/Alpaca food would be good for her (http://www.heygatesfeeds.co.uk/LlamaAlpaca.aspx)? or should I be using a different pig food? She always eats on her own so she eats at her own pace which isn't as frenetic as the boys!
Any advice will be much appreciated.
With many thanks, Amanda

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:33 pm
by simon
Sounds like she is well cared for, so I'm sure you are doing all the right things.

You said you estimated her weight. But if shes an adult pig feed her appropriate to the weight she should be, not what she is now.
Also has she been wormed?

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:51 pm
by MummyLlama
Thank you for replying Simon.
Yes she has been wormed by injection and I am using verm-x.
I am feeding her double the allowance for the weight she is at present. I have no idea what weight she should be. She is not a small pig. Her legs are quite long. I have seen some huge kunekune pigs, she is not giant but certainly bigger than a small Labrador. It's hard to guesstimate what she should be. Perhaps I should buy her buns!

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:53 pm
by wendy scu
how about some sow breeder nuts instead of the alen and paige? they are higher in protein - about 16-18% which will help build her up a bit

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:11 pm
by truella
I have actually been giving some of my sows sugar beet nuts (soaked for 24 hrs 1st of course) if they have been 'run down' after having a litter. This has really helped with their condition. I don't know if this would be worth trying with your girl - but make sure you build it up gradually as it can cause a scour if they eat too much before their guts get used to it.

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:47 pm
by MummyLlama
Thank you both so much for thinking about Maggie. She is such a sweetie she deserves to be really well. I have flaked sugar beet, called Speedy Beet. I use this for my elderly Shetland to keep her weight up especially in the laminitis season. I searched for sugar beet in the feeding forum but only found beets! Really grateful for you input, thank you both.

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:28 am
by MummyLlama
Maggie died on Friday. It would be kind if anyone could give me an idea why.
We didn't know her age but her teeth and gums looked good.
No matter what I did Maggie did not gain weight. She was not unhappy, just thin. She ate with gusto but quite suddenly she became difficult/fussy to feed. She would not eat the Allan and Page but would eat carrots, potatoes, pasta, bananas etc. I'm pretty sure she did not have a tooth problem as carrots were crunched happily.
The vet had no idea but wormed her again which was not unreasonable. She was grazing a bit but she also slept a lot. She did not appear to be anaemic. There was no improvement after 5 days so I called the vet again. Maggie honestly displayed no clinical signs of an illness and the vet had no suggestions. I asked for antibiotics in case of a tooth abscess or a pneumonia. She wasn't obviously in pain, had no ulcer symptoms, was not constipated, there was no evidence of obstruction or a twisted gut. After 3 days on the antibiotics she did seem to improve a little and as the days went on she improved a lot. Her appetite increased but she would only eat human food. I got her weener pellets which she ate once and never again until the night before she died. I always left her a scoop (1/4 her daily allowance) overnight in case she got peckish, they were always there in the morning until Friday when she had polished them off. I really thought we were winning until at midday she lay down, ground her teeth for a few minutes and suddenly died on me. Obviously I am flipping sad and it would help if anyone had a clue. The vet said she probably had a tumour which may have been the case but there is no evidence of that.

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:14 pm
by wendy scu
so sorry to hear this - you obviously tried absolutely everything and Maggie had every possible chance.

Unless you do a PM there will never be an answer to your question but personally i would agree with your vet - some underlying problem such as a tumour which would eventually take its toll.

Re: Advice for a new pig carer

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:02 pm
by MummyLlama
Thank you Wendy. I appreciate your thoughts. I think you have a lot more experiences than my vet! She did offer to PM but also said he hadn't sen inside a pig since vet school and might not find anything. I decided not to. I did find a nice knacker man who collected her and will bring her ashes back. She has a nice resting place.