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1 week old piglets

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:00 pm
by Mamapig
Hi,

I have fostered two piglets who had to be taken away from their mother straight away and have been feeding them on goats milk, as advised, for the last week. I have been reading up and have seen that it is recommended to start them on solid food at 2 weeks but am a bit new to this so was wondering what kind of food they should be having and how much. They seem to be thriving so far but am keen to make sure they get what they need between now and them being rehomed in a couple of weeks so they are as strong as they can be. Are there any supplements they need as they are not fed by their mother?
Any help with this would be much appreciated :)

Thanks

Sian

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:16 pm
by The Rushbury Pig
Hi there,

I hope the piglets are doing well and you are not exhausted!

I have raised orphan piglets and have found that with kunekune piglets they will take creep feed earlier than the larger breed piglets do so offer them from 2 weeks on. Many kunekune piglets will start eating them at this age even when they have mum around (although in very small quantities). I offer weaner pellets, just a few, once they have started to clear what I offer in a day I up it a small amount at a time. Make sure there is a good supply of water in a safe drinker.

Make sure they have access to some clods of soil to help with nutrients such as iron amongst others but if they get onto weaner pellets then they should not need any additional supplementation at all.

Good luck, I hope they continue to thrive.

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:37 pm
by Di
It is helpful to put a small quantity of nuts in a tray of milk. The piglets will stand in the tray and lap the milk and the nuts will soften. They soon get the hang of it. Did they get cholostrum when they were born?

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:05 pm
by wendy scu
i would follow Di's advice and get them drinking from a tray - it is very difficult to get orphans onto solids if they are on a bottle as they will never associate eating from the ground - in real life the would copy their mum :)
have they had an iron injection? if not then its very important that they have access to soil.

I would definitely not be rehoming them in a couple of weeks - they will do best to stay together as a litter till at least 8 weeks as they will be compromised by not having the sow rear them

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:41 pm
by Mamapig
Hi everybody,

Thank you so much for your replies, they have been really helpful and I'm pleased to say the piglets are still doing great :)
We have had them drinking from a tray for a couple of days now and have just bought some creep feed so will introduce that in a few days when they reach the 2 week mark.
They did get their colostrum as far as I'm aware, but they didn't get their injections, so will give them some soil tomorrow. Will this provide them with enough iron? I have read somewhere about iron paste...Is this something worth getting for them?
Originally when they were brought to us, we were told by the farmer that they would be rehomed together on a farm in Cornwall (we are in Hampshire) with a family once they were strong enough to make the journey which, or so we were informed, would be 2 weeks at the most. It has since transpired that the farmer was being less than honest about the situation and has since sold all of his animals and that there is not a place for them to go to after all. He has sent the mother and father to slaughter.
As much as I wish we could keep them, it is not a feasible option so has anybody any advice on rehoming them? If we need to keep them until they are 8 weeks, we will do our best but, judging by their growth so far, they will have grown rather big and will require more space than we have. I would really like them to stay together and find somewhere they will thrive and ultimately, avoid the fate of their parents! I just want the best for my piggies! Any recommendations on people to contact etc would be much appreciated.
Thanks again for your help so far.

Sian

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:33 pm
by wendy scu
this may be a stupid question but are they kunes? its just your comment about their growth rate made me think perhaps they weren't.

soil on its own should be ok :)

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:15 pm
by Mamapig
They are kunes, yep. They still aren't huge by any means but there is definitely noticeable growth!
Thank you :)

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:50 am
by wendy scu
growth is a good sign you're doing the right thing,
i usually weigh the smallest ones too to make sure they're putting on weight

Re: 1 week old piglets

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:34 pm
by The Rushbury Pig
Hello again!
Glad to hear they continue to thrive, posting here and on your other post just to make sure you get my message! As I gather you have been a very short notice mum here I am guessing you may not be aware you will need to get the boar castrated at 2 to 4 weeks at your veterinary practice under gas. A full boar does not make a good pet :wink: