I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies


Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:36 am

Does anyone have some references for care of pregnant sows?

I've read all the GL and CavySpirit information and, aside from being a little depressed by the stories, I still am not sure about the nutritional requirements of pregnant sows.

Somewhere I remember reading that Calcium intake must be increased, I assume Alfalfa and hi-calcium veggies will do this.

Is there a good resource for more information on this topic? I am expecting 7 sows on Dec. 18, one pregnant for sure, the others possible to likely. 4 are quite young.

Thanks for any references to help me prepare.


P.S. I will be housing some of them together...should they all be separated when birthing time comes or can they be in pairs?

Knee Deep

Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:41 am

they can stay in pairs, most sows will help out with babies, even if they aren't their own.

Here's seagull's page, I think this is the page that helped me out when I was looking for info.



Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:48 am

Thanks, Erin. I didn't think of looking on Seagull's page.

However, he says this about housing together:
If you have multiple, pregnant sows housed together, then it is extremely important that they be separated during their gestation. The birth of one sow's litter can actually induce labor in the other sow, which can lead to a premature birth even if they were impregnated at roughly the same time.
This could be a problem, as I don't have the facilities to have 7 separate cages. Anyone?

Knee Deep

Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:50 am

Ah, forgot about that.

From my understanding of threads between the different forums, it doesn't hold true.

Although I've only have one pregnant pig at a time.


Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:54 am

Yes I realize there's a lot of conflicting information out there. PigPal didn't seem to think that housing them together would be a problem. I was just wondering if they had to be separated after having the babies.

Still wondering about more specific diet requirements.....

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Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 7:37 am

I think you have it right. A good standard diet with perhaps extra alfalfa and calcium rich vegs.

I did run across someone who had a very strange method of feeding her pigs -- alternating basic foods on different days. But it looked to me more like someone who had lost many sows, tried something, hopefully lost fewer, and then believed her diet had something to do with it -- when, I'm guessing, it was just coincidence.

Use high quality pellets, fresh water daily -- all the things you would think of -- and I'm betting that is the best you can do.

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Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 10:19 am

If you're feeding the Oxbow pellets, switch her to the Cavy Performance instead of the Cavy Cuisine....or go with another good brand of alfalfa-based pellets.

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 11:39 am

I supplemented with calcium lactate. The babies take so much out of the Mom's.
I got the TWinlab 100 mg capsules, split them apart, and added about half of the powder to a mortar and pestle. Then I crushed 100 mg chewable Vitamin C tablet, added half of that to the calcium lactate powder.

I would then mix that with about 2 cc of water and syringe it down the Moms daily.

One more thing I did is add a teaspoon of Karo syrup to the water. Supposedly, it helps fight off toxemia by providing the sow with extra calories, instead of burning ketones from her body.

I did it with evey pregnant sow except the last litters, and I lost Lacey and almost lost Jackie.

And, keep them moving! More than anything else, I think it is imperative that you keep pregnant sows walking. At the end, all my pregnant went ito the trough. Water in the middle, food at one end. Exercise is also supposed to ward off toxemia.

My two sows that went toxic on me, both stopped moving. Then they stopped eaing their hay.

Read up on GL about what a normal labor should be.


Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:06 pm

Excellent advice, Kleenmama. I had read about preventing toxemia by giving lots of fruit, but I will give them Karo as well. I also didn't know about keeping them exercised. I will definitely do my best on that. That's a great tip on the calcium--I have some already.

Mel, thanks for the advice about CP. I keep both pellets around so I'll put them on it immediately when they get here, along with alfalfa hay mixed with Timmy and lots of veggies.

Does anyone worry that all the calcium might lead to UTIs?

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Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:10 pm

The calcium sounds good and the exercise is a must. But the Karo syrup is controversial -- although I know this info is generally passed around, I am pretty sure Josephine does not think much of it at all.


Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 2:13 pm

Ok, so just the fruit then. Last thing I need is to do something controversial with 7 pregnant piggies, 4 of them babies and two of them over 1 year old. Yikes. If there are no complications, I'd be stunned.

:) Thanks for the advice.


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Post   » Mon Dec 09, 2002 3:46 pm

My girl Ginger is about to give birth too. I'm worried about her since she is only about three months old. She is active though and eating. Also, when I feed her fresh food I can see the pups kicking and moving along her sides. Ginger is "bonded" with her friend Maya. I can't seperate them. They just cry too much for each other. I'm hoping to leave them together for the birth...


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