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Little runt

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:59 pm
by Fran
Harriets litter was born yesterday evening, all well except that we have another tiny runt. The last runt we had, we believed it was best to leave with Mum but we lost her. This one was very cold and still this morning and not feeding- last night she was holding her own and feeding well so I'm sure she's had a good amount of colostrum, her problems are now compounded by having had her litle foot trodden on which looks very sore(I sprayed with antiseptic)
I brought her indoors and managed to bring her back to a normal temperature by the aga with a hor water bottle and a thermal vest! After a boost of col-late litter-care (like piglet kickstart)she perked up enormously and is taking some good old SMA gold baby milk at half dilution (I'm sure I read this somewhere), in Andy Cases book, he just says diluted, any ideas by how much? is double the water to powder too weak ? Is there anything better?
I am reluctant to return her to Mum after the last experience.
Does anyone have any thoughts on all of this and/or experience of raising a runt on the bottle?


Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:07 pm
by Di
You can buy proper pig replacement milk just as you do for lambs or calves but it is expensive although if you are only feeding one not too bad. I raised a litter of 6 ( I think it was) last year when Mum suddenly rejected them all. They did very well on replacement milk.

They will soon learn to lap it from a dish which is a lot easier than bottle feeding and when sucking from a bottle you need to be careful that it doesn't go down into their lungs. They can be introduced to nuts after a couple of weeks which also helps.

Good luck


Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:45 pm
by Fran
Thanks for that Di, it's reassuring that all yours survived , the replacement pig milk was only available in huge quantities when I sent my husband down to the feed merchants this morning, perhaps I need to look elsewhere, did Wendy not get hold of some last year and had it delivered very quickly, I have a vague memory.
Wendy- if this is correct could you please tell me where you ordered it from- thanks.
Also Di ,how do you know ? and how do you prevent it going down into the piglets lungs if bottle feeding ?

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:51 pm
by wendy scu
Hi Fran,
yes, i raised a litter of 8 orphans last year when i lost the sow at birth.
i did get hold of pig milk but in 25kg sacks and to be honest for one piglet i don't think you can beat SMA gold. i used the stuff for very hungry toddlers/babies not the newborn stuff and i mix it exactly to the instructions on the tin.
like Di, i get them lapping from a dish as early as possible. as soon as you feel that the piglet is strong, starve it so it finds the dish. if you keep them on a bottle they don't learn o put their heads down to eat and they are almost impossible to get eating solid food cos they keep looking up for a bottle!
when they get greedy they do guzzle it into their lungs. you will know when they are rasping away and then get pneumonia!!

Best of luck - i am rearing a tiny fox cub at present - just over 200gms in weight - so i will be thinking of you when i'm up feeding in the night :)

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:21 pm
by Fran
Thanks, she has survived the night and seems rounder and stronger already-it was a bit surreal bottle feeding a piglet through the night but worth it so far- fingers crossed!
Do you think that anti-biotics at the first sign of a rasp or rattle would be the best thing? I have baytril in or could get something long lasting from the vet. How likely is it that this will happen?
Good luck with your fox cub too Wendy.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:35 pm
by wendy scu
probably won't happen to start with as they are not so greedy. i use pen and strep for the chest problem but try to avoid antibiotics as it mucks up the gut flora. if you have to use it, give a little spoon of live organic yoghurt once a day.
spectam sourhalt is also another good thing to have by you in case of scours, although i always ignore scours for 24 hrs (unless its green) as it is often just an adjustment to quantity of milk/change of diet.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:37 pm
by wendy scu
if you think she's out of the woods you could try putting her with her mum through the day when you can keep an eye on her, it is always easiest if they take them back.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:39 pm
by Fran
thanks, yes,I always use spectam scourhalt and do have some to hand- it is magic stuff.
What is this pen and strep- I had presumed it was antibiotics, penicillin.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:22 pm
by wendy scu
yes, it's a penicillin

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:14 am
by Fran
Thanks again, Which SMA milk do you use again Wendy? there is SMA gold for infants, SMA white for hungrier babies and SMA progress with a red lid from 6 months for older babies and toddlers- do you think any of them would do?
She is scouring this morning, I have the scourhalt at the ready if it doesn't clear up soon.

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:39 am
by wendy scu
the one for hungrier babies