Mastitis, Hand rearing, Escapees... it's all happening!

Everything you need to know about the breeding of kunekune Pigs.
Post Reply
CarolineB
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Cumbria
Contact:

Mastitis, Hand rearing, Escapees... it's all happening!

Post by CarolineB » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:08 pm

I wasn't sure where to post this - it's part blog, part feeding bu I guess most pertinent to breeding.
We started with 13...
... 1 died coz we missed the start of the birth - I think she was waiting tol we away. We went to bed at 12am with her showing no signs, I got up at 1.30 and she had 11 piglets! 1 was dead - lying near the door, I think it had wandered too far from mum, got cold etc. gutted about that one, as it was a lovely dalmation effect with pp. 1 was born at 3 - it was still born and massive. Afterbirths came 3-5am. And then there were 11...
The runt we brought in and fed on night 3, he reacted really well and was a new pig the next day. We put him out for a couple of hours... he went down hill v suddenly, so even when we brought him back in, he was so far gone he never fed properly again and we lost him.
One got sat on by mum.
Another faded away over two days...
then there were 8!! (I feel such a rubbish piggy-parent coz we'e lost so many!)
We had to go to a weddign last night, and we've come back today and I looked at the piglets. We have 6 FAT piglets and 2 skinny things - so we'vec pulled two out and we're trying to feed them. One it attckign the bottle with gusto the other doesn't seem so interested.
So I looked at mum and I reckon she's got/getting mastitis. I'll get the vet our asap. Shes' not really bad but I think that at best she's got blocked ducgts that need massaging (I breastfed my baby so I know what she's goign through!!) and at worst she's got a bigger problem with the two back teats as she won't let me massage them.
Sorry this is soooo long... I just wanted to give the background!
Caroline

Darrell
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:03 pm
Location: East Sussex

Post by Darrell » Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:17 am

Hi Caroline, its not your fault about the piglets you have lost,I would offer the remaining piglets some baby milk as a top up when the sow is grazing.They will still feed from her as well.Regarding piglets escaping from the creche,try adding a little more height, the sow will jump in and out.Sometimes we dig a narrow ditch inside the creche this adds another 3 or 4 inches.If the piglets are full on milk they will sleep more and escape less!Hope the vet can help with the mastitis.

wendy scu
Posts: 1076
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Herefordshire
Contact:

Post by wendy scu » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:18 am

you started with such a huge litter that losses are inevitable and also slightly necessary for um and remaining babies to do well.
mastitis is fairly common and yes, you do need a vet asap or she will stop production altogether. also, depending on how much discomfort she is in, she'll start getting angry with the piglets and not letting them feed.

I may be wrong, but i would suggest that your feeding the piglets has contributed toward the mastitis -
as a breastfeeding mum, you will remember that the first few days (possibly longer) all your baby does is suckle - this is because the baby is stimulating you to produce the amount of milk he needs. the piglets will have done this - 12 of them originally - and she will then have gone into mass production. at this poiont you have helped her out ( i appreciate, for the right reasons) by substitute feeding the piglet(s) which has caused her to become engorged with milk. the fact that you have also had a couple of losses along the way will have contributed to this too.
The ones who have fallen by the wayside are probably the ones who were the weaker to start with and in the 'bun fight' that is a very large litter, they did not get adequate colostrum.
If you need to help them along, try in the first instance to get them onto the mother. If you can be there for just 3 feeds a day and make sure you hold the weakling onto the teat (and hold the greedy ones off for a few seconds when the milk rushes in) a piglet that is a survivor will pick up very fast and soon be able to hold its own at feeding time.
I do feel for you, its always hard losing piglets, but you will probably end up with a good healthy litter now who won't take so much out of your sow.
hope this is helpful, and best of luck with the mastitis,
Wendy

CarolineB
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Cumbria
Contact:

Post by CarolineB » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:25 am

Thanks so much.

I totally agree about the engorged udders because of the interruption to the feeding. The two that aren't doing as well as the others we offered some extra milk after they'd all fed - one had somethe other wasn't that interested - we put them back with Mum straight after and they've all been feeding today. Her udders look much better today - but the back two teats are engorged. She's moving around quite happily and doesn't seem in too much discomfort - I'm waiting for the vet as I'd rather she was treated before it got worse - as you say, I don't want her stoppign feedign altogether.

6 of the 8 are really, really healthy looking - clearly winning the bun fight! I'll try to assist the weaker ones as you suggest.

Thanks again for all your help!

C
Caroline

CarolineB
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Cumbria
Contact:

Post by CarolineB » Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:38 pm

Just to let you know that the vet's been out. He said she has got a mild case of mastitis - clearly not really bothering her, but we'retreating with penicilin for the next few days to clear it up. While he was here he castrated our boys. Eeek. I was very brave and held them for him. It was all very quick.
The piglets are all feeding okay - we're keeping an eye on the smaller ones, but they seem to be givign feeding a go. The vet (who was brought up on a pig farm) was v unconcerned. So cross fingers that things will settle down now.
Cx
Caroline

Post Reply