OCT 23 1987
',"".,,~ty of Florida
Claude H. McGowan
baby pig management
Florida Cooperativ Exwtenion Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
John T. Woeste, Dn / LawrenceCarter, Administrator, Florida A & M Progrm
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction ....................................................................... 1
Location ...... .................................. .................................2
Castration ..................... ........................ ......................... 6
This circular was adapted for use in Florida from TI-AS-14A, a publication by Claude H. McGowan,
formerly Animal Husbandman, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee
University). Presently, the author is Adjunct Assistant Professor and Extension Animal Science Specialist,
Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, Tallahassee.
The number of pigs a sow farrows depends on several things. Her fertility and the fertility
of the boar affect litter size. Also, the quality of management you have given the sow
before she farrows has an effect. But the most important thing that makes the difference
between the sow paying her way or not is not just the number of pigs she farrows. The
number she succeeds in raising is more important. This is what provides the margin of pro-
fit she adds to your pig business.
By the time a sow gives birth, you will have fed her 100 to 150 pounds of feed for each
pig she has. You have also spent your time and money in management. Remember that each
pig must grow to be a market hog to yield a profit. If a pig dies, it is a two-fold loss--a loss
of your feed and time and a loss of profit you could have made. Good management is a
more important factor in how many pigs the sow raises than the number she farrows.
Profit in the feeder-pig business is related to the number, quality and health of the pigs
weaned from each litter.
1 Proper Drainage
2 Sunny Exposure
3 Suitable Elevation
4 Far Away from Dwellings
To Prevent Odors Reaching Them
5 Close To Pasture
G. GOOD SANITATION
H. COST IN KEEPING
WITH THE USE
Clean farrowing area by scrubbing with a solution
of one pound of household lye mixed with twenty
gallons of hot water.
Wash the sow with soap and warm water before
she is placed in the farrowing stall. This should be
done three to five days before she is due to farrow.
Thoroughly clean the underline and hind quarters.
Be on hand for farrowing to render assistance if
needed. Normal delivery time is 2 to 4 hours. If
afterbirth is not passed within 12 hours, call a
If navel cord does not break off by itself at birth,
pull it out gently.
Clean the mouth and nostrils, if necessary, to
prevent pigs from suffocating. If pigs do not
breathe, press gently on the ribs. Dry pigs with
wood shavings or rags.
The umbilical cord should be tied off about an
inch from the body. This seals off a possible
avenue of infection.
Dip or swab the umbilical cord, using tincture of
iodine to disinfect the area and help prevent.
After tying the cord, cut off the remainder with a
sharp knife or scissors.
Clean up all afterbirth; offer hog some feed and
water, and see that all pigs nurse.
Cut needle teeth. Pigs are born with eight needle
teeth, four on each jaw. They should be cut to
prevent injury to the sow's udder or to litter's
Clip tails when pigs are 1 to 4 days old. Clip about
1% inches from the body. A pair of side cutter
pliers works well. Do not forget to disinfect the
Give pigs iron shots. Anemia results when the baby
pigs use up the iron they were born with if they are
not given more by you. Inject pigs with 100 ml.
of iron dextran each when they are 3 to 5 days
old. Give the injection inside the front leg or use
an iron supplement to be given orally.
Baby pigs cannot regulate their body temperature
until they are 24-36 hours old. They rely on you
to keep them from becoming chilled. Place the
newborn pigs under heat lamp or brooder to keep
from becoming cold. This also reduces the chance
that the sow will accidentally injure or kill her
pigs by lying on them if they huddle against her for
This is one way of holding a pig for castration.
Hold him by the hind legs with his back towards
you, then place his head between your legs.
Castration of male pigs is an important manage-
ment practice for production of high quality pigs.
Listed are supplies needed for castration.
Here is another way. Hold the right legs with your
left hand and the left legs with your right hand.
Rest the pig on a fence, or sit on a box and place
him between your knees.
Wash the scrotum with an antiseptic solution. This
will help prevent infection.
Use a clean sharp knife, single-edged razor blade or
scalpel to make the incisions. Each incision should
be about one inch long-just long enough to force
the testicles out. It should extend to the lower part
of the scrotum. This allows good drainage of the
cut when it is healing.
With the thumb of your left hand, press against
the scrotum and force the testicles tightly down-
ward toward the belly of the pig.
Force the testicles out through the incision. After
the testicles are exposed, grasp them with the left
hand and pull gently until the attached membranes
and cord are tight.
While the membranes and cords are held tight, cut After testicles have been removed, apply an anti-
the cords, as near to the scrotum as possible by septic to the area around the incision.
scraping briskly with a sharp knife.
This publication was produced at a cost of $995.90, or 50.0 cents per copy, for Extension agents and agricultural
technicians to use in ongoing educational programs. 8-2M-87
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, K.R. Tefertiller,
director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the May 8 and
June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institu-
tions that function without regard to race, color, sex or national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publica-
tions) are available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is II .v .....
available from C.M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this publication
editors should contact this address to determine availability.