There are 3 major stress times in a baby pigs life. First, the birthing process. Secondly , would be weaning and third and what we want to talk about today is when the show pig leaves that comfortable, secure warm nursery or chip barn is pulled away from his pen mates and sold. In all my years and I don’t have a statistic to quote but a lot of pigs are lost in this stage of production. What can we do to limit the stress and give this purchase every chance to flourish and become a high quality, competitive show pig? Lets discuss.
In this day and age of the show pig world it takes a tremendous amount of work to get one ready to sell. They have been pampered when it comes to facilities, nutrition and care and rightfully so. So how do we handle this new purchase?
First, are your facilities at home ready for the pig? Is your barn warm? Draft Free? Dry? Correct High quality bedding? Is the water source an automatic water? Does it work? Will you water them in a trough? Pan? Do you have the correct type of feed? Starter, grower or other?
Ok, you have your pen ready at home. Now we are on the hunt? Where will you buy your pig? Private treaty sale, auction, online or other?
Questions to ask the breeder–what vaccinations have they had? What type of feed are they eating? Can I buy a bag of this feed to help the transition from here to my barn? Genetics? How do they grow? know your end date show be it a county fair or a state fair or the many other opportunities to show BUT how do these genetic lines mature? Most generally, the breeder will be able to answer all of these questions.
Ok, so now you bought your pigs ar pigs. How are you getting them home. Remember, in the Midwest as far as the weather goes, I believe anything can happen weather wise until May 15. Do you have a trailer you are going to haul the pigs home in. Is it enclosed? As little draft as possible? Are you using a box? Same questions here are the trailer. Are you buying pigs from multiple sources? Can I keep them separated until I get home and then co-mingle there. MY THOUGHTS ARE MANY PIGS NEVER RECOVER FROM THE STRESS OF NEW SURROUNDINGS, NEW PENMATES, NEW FEED, NEW WATER and a host of other issues that go along with buying pigs in the Spring in the Midwest.
These are just some of the things you need to consider when purchasing your new project. Many more issues are there. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME AT 816-284-2518 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find me on FB at Bruce Butler.
Happy Pig Hunting!!