Waiting for baby potbellies

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Dyana, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    I am helping a friend out with her 2 potbelly pigs . She just moved and doesn't have a place for her pigs to have their babies. They have lived only on pasture and when I picked them up on Wednesday I asked what she feeds them and she said grass.
    They look so skinny to me (except their big pregnant bellies). I can see their hip bones and ribcage. So now they are at my house and I started feeling them mini pig food along with alfalfa.
    They are due any day and this is my first time with farrowing or keeping potbellies. Any advice would be appreciated.
    ImageUploadedByGoat Forum1486870649.123175.jpg ImageUploadedByGoat Forum1486870680.266850.jpg
    The first pic is Babe and the second one is Willie.
     
  2. MylieD

    MylieD New Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    middle GA
    Those pigs are extremely underweight. I'm surprised they kep the pregnancy. Just slowly keep upping their food. They can eat fruits, veggies, eggs, dairy, and hay too. Pretty much any unprocessed leftovers you have. But not too much at once since they aren't used to eating much. Crazy your friend thought potbellies could survive on grass. You can get them pig vitamins too. They look due soon so you will probably have to suppliment the babies. Nursing drains the mama pigs. Just make sure they get colostrum, then you can sell the babies as bottle babies or try to pan feed them goat milk. There's no way I'd give them back. They are very neglected.
     

  3. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    My sister told me not to give them back when She saw the pics. They are very sweet girls. They just had babies in September. They had 9 each. I gave her info for a vet to get her male neutered but she hasn't done it.
    I've been hesitant about giving them too much since they haven't had other food besides grass. I'll look for some pig vitamins.
    Thank you
     
  4. BrokenArrowRanch

    BrokenArrowRanch New Member

    653
    Jun 6, 2013
    I've honestly never seen a skinny pig. They look very skinny except for those baby bellies. Really hope the old owner doesn't get them back unless she is willing to make some serious adjustments.
    That said I hope they birth easy and have healthy babies! I've never farrowed pigs but the same basics apply to any birthing animal. Dont allow her to labor forever and not help. Make sure babies eat soon as possible. Bless you for taking g them on!
     
  5. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    Super skinny! I just got some mini pigs and I've done a ton of reading, the fact you can see their ribs is terrible! Even on what's considered thin you don't see ribs. You want an ice rounded butt not pointy.
    Now from what I have read pigs get very over weight on grass, I would guess this girl probably has a parasite issue going on unless the grass was very thin and she simply wasn't getting enough.
     
  6. MylieD

    MylieD New Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    middle GA
    I don't know where you read that, but I have to respectfully disagree. Pigs will not get fat on grass alone. Pigs have a very similar digestive system to us. They are omnivores. The only creatures that can survive and thrive on grass are ruminants and hind gut fermentors. Even pasture pigs (of which potbellies are not) can't just eat grass. They need a large area to forage. Acorns, roots, things like that. The pasture should also be seeded with a mix of grasses if you want a healthy pig. Those pigs are rediculously malnurished. They may very well be wormy too, but that's not just from parasites.

    Dyna, you are right about not giving too much too fast. One good thing to add is an egg or two each to them, if you have chickens and can spare them. Boiling is supposed to make the proteins more available but I give mine raw and they do well. Just spoiled milk and yogurt is good too or extra goat milk. Some mixed in with their pellets and they'll love you. Potbellies are easy to overfeed, but I think you have a way to go until you have to worry about that.
     
  7. MylieD

    MylieD New Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    middle GA
    About farrowing, I've been through two myself and the piglets just slipped out. They flopped around for a while and then stumbled to a teat. Pigs are much easier than goats, imo. If you're there and it's cold out, you can help dry them off. Mom pigs don't lick their babies clean. They dry off on their own usually. I don't iodine their cords or give them vitamin k, but some do. If they have access to fresh dirt, they get vitamin k from the ground from what I remember. I missed the first birth and found piglets all alive and well just after the birth. I watched the second birth. Piglets should just slip out, so if she's straining with no progress, their might be a problem. From what I've read, if you have to fish one out, the rest should follow easy. They usually have one placenta. It'll come out just like a goats. Piglets need the colostrum, so make sure they get some shortly after birth. The mom's sometimes get involved with the birh and can step on or roll on a baby. If you're there just watch for it. Those dumb little pigs get all in her business when they pop out. You can make something for them to get under if you want so they can get out of the way. I'm not sure where you live and how cold it is, but piglets canusually stay warm if the have a pile of hay to climb in and at least a buddy to snuggle with. For the most part, farrowing should be hands off. Your pigs are experienced moms, so I think they will be good for you.
     
  8. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    Thanks everyone. I have chickens for the eggs and I had two does that kidded a week ago. One had only one baby so I will steal some of her milk for the pigs. I live in Az and the temps have been in the 80's but cooling to the low 70's this week and night temps of 50's.
     
  9. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    Willie is not wanting to eat today. Hopefully the babies show up today and it is not something else.
     
  10. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    MylieD no way am I gonna argue with you. As I said I just started with the pigs, it just said to limit grazing because it is high in sugar. Maybe they mean on top of their feed? I'm not sure. But if they would also need roots and such wouldn't they get that from rooting and eating the roots of the grass as well? Again no way arguing and no matter if she is wormy or not feed would be needed, I personally would worm her though
     
  11. MylieD

    MylieD New Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    middle GA
    I was talking more plant roots, rather than grass roots, but they will eat that too. The last thing most pigs want to eat is grass. But you can ferment wheat, barley, corn, etc for them or sprout it and they'll love it. If you plant rye or clover, things like that, that's good for them. They just need other things too. I'm not sure what kind of mini pigs you have, but Juliana, I know they have different requirements than what I'm familiar with. Potbellies aren't as small as them and eat more like a traditional pig. They do tend to get fat though, so once you get them in shape, then you need to regulate their feed more. I have lard hogs, so I have to be careful what I feed them (not an excessive amount of sweet feed) or they will get rolly polly and unhealthy in the opposite direction.

    I do 100% agree they need to get a fecal run on them or at least get dewormed. I am not sure what is safe for pregnant pigs since I haven't dewormed pregnant pigs. So check the bottle. I use ivermectin on a slice of bread and they gobble it up.
     
  12. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead

    That is a first for me...seeing a malnourished pig....how awful :( Hope the babies survive! Good luck!
     
  13. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California

    Totally makes sense!
     
  14. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    I'll have a fecal done at the vet. Hate to worm them if they don't need it while they are pregnant. I haven't given them access to the pasture. Not sure I would be able to get them in their pens when the time comes and they do not like my cow. They don't mind my goats or the chickens but they get all upset when the cow comes by.
    Willie finally started eating normal tonight. She just nibbled a little all day. They loved the goats milk once they figured it out. It was cute to watch. When it first touched their nose they jumped away but once they licked it off their nose they dived in! They licked their bowls clean. I'll start adding eggs tomorrow as long as they are still doing good.
    They are in 2 separate pens but they can see each other. I filled it with straw and I have heating lamps to put in once the babies are here.
     
  15. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    ImageUploadedByGoat Forum1486957791.802534.jpg

    ImageUploadedByGoat Forum1486957850.669217.jpg

    The first pic is Babe and the second is Willie.
    I don't think they can get much bigger.
     
  16. MylieD

    MylieD New Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    middle GA
    Sounds great. They are some adorable piggies. Can't wait to see what they look like filled out. And that's funny about the cow. My cow hates the pigs. I had them together for a short while and she would knock them with her head and sometimes chase them.
     
  17. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    My cow's name is Bogo (she was pregnant when we got her) She is very interested but they just lunge at her through the pen. ImageUploadedByGoat Forum1486959587.581407.jpg
    This is Bogo the night we brought the pigs home. She wasn't sure what those things were.
     
  18. LibertysBoerGoatRanch

    LibertysBoerGoatRanch Member

    345
    Aug 26, 2016
    Poor girls I'm glad they ended up with you!! Following to see the progress they make and to hopefully see some healthy and happy piglets soon!!
     
  19. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    Someone has a long snout for being a pot bellied pig! I bet she has some Julianna in her ;) that's why I went with the cross on the girl because of them scrunched up nose lol she looks like she is so ready for those to come out!
     
  20. Dyana

    Dyana New Member

    41
    Mar 16, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    Still no babies I'm getting impatient waiting for these piglets! Can't wait to see them. Baby pigs are the cutest! Willie is eating normal again, yay! They have been handling all the new food fine. Today they split a banana. Babe loved it more than Willie but they both love the eggs and milk.