Sow maintenance and care

Successful and profitable breeding of animals is possible only with quality care for the offspring. But before the offspring appears, it is necessary to provide the necessary maintenance to the breeding stock, in particular, to the females. And pigs are no exception in this regard. Only a healthy sow can provide healthy offspring. And it is important not only the quality of the content of pregnant breeding sows. It is necessary to properly feed and care for them also in the period before fertilization or childbirth.

Sow maintenance and care


To understand how to keep sows, you need to understand what periods its content is divided into. Without this useful knowledge, it will not be possible to provide proper care for each of the queens. And in order not to destroy animals with your own hands, you need to understand how they are kept, and by what principles. There are two main content methods - individual and group. In this case, it is necessary to decide when and how to apply each of these techniques. It all depends on the condition of the animal:

  • Sows are single or in preparation for mating, are kept with the entire herd. Moreover, in one pen there can be no more than 10-12 goals, and each should have 2 square meters of area. Or they are kept in machines for artificial insemination.
  • Pregnant females. The gestation period is divided into two main stages, and at this time the female is usually kept with another herd. Although, if there is such an opportunity, in the second period the uterus is kept separately. Pregnancy should proceed quietly, in order to avoid miscarriages. A pregnant uterus is kept in a pen, where 2.5-3 square meters of area are allocated to it.
  • Uterus during labor and lactating sows. While the female is with the piglets, she must be kept separate from the rest of the herd. And the birth itself should take place where the pig does not bother other animals. Sows and small pigs are kept separately from their birth. This will help ensure normal feeding and development of babies.

We should also talk about how pregnant sows are kept in group care. In medium and large farms, pregnant animals are kept in a separate pen, for convenience in feeding and keeping. At the same time, they try to keep together those females who have the same term of delivery. Of course, it’s impossible to make an ideal guess, but the coincidence should be within one month. Then it will be easier to plant them in time, as well as provide them with a suitable diet. But it is still worth noting the approximate delivery date of each mumps.

How does the sow's sexual cycle proceed?

What else the farmer should understand is how the sows have a sexual cycle. Then he will know when exactly the time comes to cover the pig, and how to do it with maximum efficiency. First you need to figure out when the pig matures, and with what frequency the hunt proceeds. And then it is already necessary to analyze all its main features, by which this period is determined. Without this, it will not be possible to understand when the sow allows a boar to approach itself, and when it is better to mate.

Puberty occurs even before the animal is fully mature, and falls on the 7th month of life of a young female. It was at this time that the first signs of hunting appeared. It all starts with changes in behavior and in external changes in the external genitalia. They swell, blush, discharge appears - this begins estrus. The sow itself is constantly worried, sometimes squeals, and by all means makes it clear that she is ready for mating. However, she does not show much interest in food.

A large number of piglets in a sow

This is all called the period of sexual activity, which precedes the actual hunt. It was at this time that the farmer must carefully monitor the uterus so as not to miss the signs of readiness for mating. The hunt begins when the sow lets the boar to itself, and also freezes when pressed into the lumbar region. Surely you can find out when using the so-called test boar. He will never miss those signs that indicate the beginning of the hunt. But there are certain rules by which it is worth mating.

Optimal mating in sows

There is such a thing as multiple pregnancy, and it means a large number of piglets in one litter. And it depends on when exactly the sow was coated. The fact is that the amount of sperm of the boar gets to the eggs depends on the time of coverage. The success of fertilization, and, as a consequence, multiple fertility, depends on this. On average, for good insemination, mating should be carried out exactly one day after the start of the hunt. But in this matter it is also worth considering the age of the fertilized uterus:

  • Young females, which have never been covered before, are allowed to mate no later than 28 hours after its start. Otherwise, the number of piglets in the litter will be lower than the required number. Although young uterus often give birth to fewer babies, even with timely fertilization.
  • Already giving birth to the uterus, they are allowed to mate already 15-16 hours after its start, and no later than 20-22 hours. In this case, the chances of getting a large number of piglets in the litter increase. According to some farmers, fertilization of sows at the age of 2-3 years is best.

At the age of one year to 3-4 years, the sow is able to bring up to a dozen or more piglets per farrow. During this time, it can be used, provided that it gives birth, on average, 2-3 times a year. And when the uterus is 5 years old, its fertility decreases. Therefore, its use is already becoming unprofitable. After 7-8 years, the female loses her ability to reproduce. On average, a sow is able to give birth and raise two dozen babies a year without big problems, for 2-3 years from the first insemination.

In this case, it is necessary to take into account the frequency of hunting in the sexual cycle. It is not difficult to make a calendar here, a novice farmer will cope with this. On average, the hunting period is repeated every three weeks. This does not take into account the time that the animal spends in a state of sexual arousal. Here's how the reproductive cycle looks in a healthy sow. The first stage of excitement, which precedes the hunt, lasts 3-5 days. Then comes the actual hunting stage, lasting 1.5-5 days. After this, the female calms down within a week, not longer.

During the calming period, the animal becomes lethargic, lies for a long time and saves power. Gradually, normal appetite begins to return - while its continued absence will be an alarming sign. After that, already within 1.5-2 weeks, the sow returns to its normal condition, provided that it was not fertilized. The last recommendation for fertilization - do not use a boar that is too heavy in it, which with its weight could damage the spine of the female.

Artificial insemination of sows

No matter what kind of pig breed is bred by a farmer, with a large number of livestock, one has to resort to artificial insemination. Artificial insemination is used in cases where the boars of producers are not enough for the entire number of females. Sows can be seeded with a pre-harvested seed from a breeding boar. But, although you can often resort to this method, it has its own difficulties. Here you need not only to have the necessary equipment, but also the skills to use it correctly.

With this method, machines for insemination and sow maintenance are often used. They allow you to fix the animal in the right position, and facilitate the work of the farmer. Again, it is advantageous to use them in industrial breeding of pigs, although machines can be used in small farms. Such a device may also contain a pregnant sow. And single animals with the help of machines are examined by veterinarians. This helps to prescribe the right treatment.

Successful insemination

But you need to buy not only a machine, there are other equipment that the farmer will have to use. According to experts, from one boar you can collect seeds for fertilization, at least hundreds of sows. But this is subject to the condition that the seed will be correctly collected and stored. For insemination, there are several device options, each of which is suitable for a particular type. In total, there are two main types of fertilization that are used in most pig farms.

Technique for artificial insemination of sows

Artificial insemination is carried out in two main ways, but an inexperienced farmer should use only the first method. You can, of course, use the training video, but it is better to resort to the help of a professional. When the specialist holds a consultation and shows how everything is done, you can already try to do everything yourself. When buying equipment, you must first decide on the method. The differences between the methods are not only in the name, but also in the technology of the process.

The main technique is to use diluted seed. For dilution, a solution consisting of ordinary salt, glucose and water is used. You should not use iodized salt. Water from the tap also does not fit, you need a clean distilled liquid. The ratio of water, glucose and salt is 1000, 30 and 5. Therefore, 15 grams of glucose and 2.5 grams of salt are taken per 0.5 liter of solution. When diluted, 2 parts of the solution are taken per part of the seed. For introduction, use only clean instruments.

The content of the pregnant sow

If the insemination was successful, the farmer needs to think about how to ensure the correct content of the pregnant sow. The mother child (a shed for keeping pregnant pigs) must be equipped with a suitable holding machine. The machine is used even in cases where the uterus is contained in an individual pen. When caring for animals, one must remember that people usually don’t scare pigs, but a pregnant female becomes more suspicious and restless. Therefore, other people, except the owner, should not bother her unnecessarily.

The gestation period is usually divided into two main stages. At the first stage of pregnancy (it lasts 85-90 days), pigs can be kept in small groups. But this period may vary between animals, and in the third month it is better to allocate a little more area for each sow. At home, when there is only one pregnant mumps, it is kept in the same room. Therefore, at home, it is separated from the remaining pigs immediately after insemination. Then pregnancy proceeds better.

After the third month, and until the time for the termination of pregnancy approaches, the pig should already be kept separately. In this case, it is advisable to prepare a special machine for her. You can either make it at home with your own hands, or buy it ready-made. In the machine, the uterus is held with the head towards the exit, and the floor is covered with a fresh and soft filler. Suitable straw or sawdust. In this case, the cells must be selected so that the sows in them are not injured. Therefore, large cell farms are usually bought.

Feeding a pregnant sow

Feeding pregnant sows is an important part of caring for animals during pregnancy. To give birth to a nursing sow without problems, it is necessary to provide it with the necessary quantity and quality of feeding. A newly coated female should receive less food than her single goods. In the first three months of gestation, the amount decreases by one fifth compared to a normal diet. At the same time, only high-quality compound feed is suitable for feeding, in combination with the necessary set of premixes.

Calculate the diet based on feed units. The first 80-90 days, feeding is carried out so that the animal receives 1.2 feed units per day with a weight of one centner. And in the fourth month of gestation, this number gradually increases to 1.5-1.6 feed units. The amount of protein a pig receives is also changing. It should be fed so that in the first stage of pregnancy she received 120-130 grams of protein per centner of weight. In the second stage, this number increases to 160-170 grams.

When the uterus bears offspring, it requires additional vitamins and minerals. While she carries babies, she definitely needs calcium and phosphorus. These substances are required for the correct formation of the fetus during pregnancy. For each centner of weight, about 12 grams of calcium and about 9-10 grams of phosphorus are required. During the first 90 days, this amount is needed for a pig weighing one centner. And in the last days of pregnancy, this amount increases to 14 and 10-11 grams, respectively.

Childbirth and postpartum sows with piglets

A healthy and young sow usually pigs without problems. If her feeding was carried out according to all the rules, then she does not move around, and childbirth occurs on time. When a pig walks around, it is worth doing an ultrasound, in case there are dead babies in her womb. And what you should not do is try to make a diagnosis on your own. So that the uterus does not crush the suckers, it must be kept in a separate machine. Well, if there are problems with newborn piglets (for example, the baby does not eat well), you should consult a veterinarian.

After the birth of newborns, their mother still needs separate care. If hygiene is not observed, then metritis or worms may appear (ivermec can help here). Sometimes there are problems with newborns. They often bite and pull the udder, which causes mastitis. For this and a number of other reasons, agalactia sometimes occurs - the loss of milk. Milkiness depends on the quality of the diet and uterine care. Sometimes with postpartum problems, oxytocin helps, which is used as directed by a doctor.

Weaning piglets from a sow

It is necessary to wean (or fight off) piglets from the uterus at the age of 30 days. Monthly babies can be easily weaned and weaned from breast milk. This may cause problems later. And if lactating sows do not give enough milk, then they are taken away even earlier. But excommunication immediately after birth only harms. If, for example, daily piglets are recaptured after birth, they will receive few useful substances. The same that contains colostrum. And then even those babies who are born healthy will be vulnerable to disease.

When is it necessary to plant piglets from the mother? Firstly, if she is not able to feed them. No milk means no other options but weaning. Secondly, in case of inflammation of the nipples. Then, as soon as the babies are born, they have to be fed a substitute for colostrum. Thirdly, it is necessary to resort to artificial feeding if the uterus is too thick or weak. Fat sow usually eats and crushes piglets more than gives milk. But there is nothing good in a weak, thin sow.

When a female hardly rearranges her legs, or fell down and lies motionless after giving birth, she cannot get a lot of colostrum from her nipples. A healthy sow weighs two centners, walks a lot, and later walks with babies. Often weakness and weight loss are the consequences of infection. Then it is worth checking the health of both the mother and her offspring. It is not recommended to check for symptoms on videos or books. No matter how many books a farmer reads, only a veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis. Here's what the forums write about it:

“You should never even try to make a diagnosis on your own. And even more so - to inject or give drugs without consulting a veterinarian. A sow with pigs may not survive this treatment. After childbirth and in the first month of life, babies are extremely vulnerable. And their mother is weak after a period of gestation. "


For the maintenance of a pregnant or lactating sow, it is worthwhile to prepare suitable conditions in advance. She is demanding of care, and does not respond well to careless handling. The care of her is not too complicated, but any mistakes can lead to the loss of offspring and to the death of the pig itself. Therefore, it is necessary to approach the content with all possible responsibility.


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