Watching the remarkable addition in weight, swollen teats, even disinterest in mating from your pregnant pig can be amusing. Of course, you would be anxious (especially if it is your first time breeding pigs) about how long your pig would be pregnant before it delivers.
Averagely, a pig’s pregnancy lasts 114 days. More specifically, these 114 days can be broken down into three months, three weeks, and three days. While this is the standard, it is normal for some pigs to deliver their piglets 2-3 days earlier than the said 114 days or even later than the standard duration.
Just knowing a pig’s gestation period is not enough. At what age can you expect your pig to conceive? How can you confidently tell that your pig is pregnant? What would you feed it? These are some of the interesting aspects we would further explore in this article.
At What Age Do Pigs Get Pregnant?
A sow (basically a female pig) can get pregnant as early as five months. Nonetheless, it is healthier to allow your pig to attain substantial sexual maturity before mating her. This can be when your sow is anywhere around 8-10 months of age.
How Do You Know if a Pig is Pregnant?
Across the length of your pig’s pregnancy, it would show some physical and behavioral changes. Here is what you can expect to see from a pregnant pig.
It Gets Disinterested in Mating
A pregnant pig shows a remarkable loss of enthusiasm in reproductive activities. She will fervently reject advances from a boar. When a pig gets pregnant, she ceases giving gestures and sounds associated with courtship.
If you are keener, you can tell a pregnant pig from a change in the posturing of its reproductive organs. Most noticeable is an upward inversion of its clitoris.
Traditionally, a pig’s clitoris points downward. But when pregnant, her clitoris turns upward – with consequent increases in her internal organs.
Your Sow’s Belly and Teats Swell
Admittedly, this is the most glaring sign of pregnancy in pigs. However, it doesn’t come until the latter stages of your sow’s pregnancy – commonly after the twelfth week.
You would notice your sow’s abdomen get rounder noticeably. This is usually accompanied by her udders getting more swollen. With farrowing becoming closer, her belly becomes increasingly distended.
Your Sow Doesn’t Get into Heat after Mating
For the period of gestation, a sow doesn’t return to its estrous cycle. If your notice three weeks have passed from the last time you mated your sow with a boar and she is yet to return to heat, the chances are high that your sow has taken in.
You Notice Farrowing Tendencies in Her
A pregnant sow very close to farrowing will demonstrate some behaviors closely associated with mothering. With 48-72 hours of delivery, you may notice your pig packing dry materials in her mouth.
This is typically straw with which she ingeniously constructs a circular nest. It is within this nest that she intends to deliver her litter.
Within this period, you may notice your piglet being abnormally restless. For long stretches of hours, she will be reluctant to lie down even when you nudge her to.
What to Feed Pregnant Pigs?
A pregnant pig needs significant hikes in nourishment. As the pregnant matures, you would have to ramp up her food supply, emphasizing high-nutrient feed. More than clean soil, pregnant sows need fresh grass and premium-quality grain.
As said, a pregnant pig’s food intake should be progressively ramped up as her fetuses mature. The pig’s feed would need to be increased within the first month of pregnancy.
Another increase in her food intake would come in within eight to the tenth week of pregnancy and another in the thirteenth to the fifteenth week of pregnancy. Lastly, within the last seven days of delivery, her feeding rations should be hiked.
- For the first seven days following the successful breeding of your sow, a relatively downsized daily feeding ration of 2 kg/head would do. This is aimed at shrinking the now-pregnant sow’s vulnerability to abortion.
- By the 12th-15th week of pregnancy, the fetuses should have reasonably developed with consequently increased nutritional needs. By then, you can raise your sow’s daily feeding ration to 2.8kg/head. If your sow is a bit older, an allocation of 2.5kg/head will suffice.
- Within the last seven days of the pregnancy, you would cut its feeding ration to 1.5kg/head/day. Now, considering the awaiting task of delivering its litter, your sow needs a significant intake of bran (particularly for its bulkiness) to reduce the chances of its get constipated. A daily ration of 1.5kg/head of bran would be appropriate.
More than reducing the physical strain of delivering, that bran intake would help to facilitate food intake in your pig after delivery. Such increased eating is essential to facilitate its recovery and provide for the nutritional demands of its litters.
Is Ivermectin Safe for Pregnant Pigs?
Ivermectin has no notable negative impact on pregnant pigs.
Can You Deworm a Pregnant Pig?
Yes, a pregnant pig should be dewormed. Particularly, deworming your pregnant sow helps to reduce the risk of infection for its litter. It is recommended that you deworm your pregnant pig anywhere from 14-21 days before it delivers.
Can You Bathe a Pregnant Pig?
Washing a pig is essential to keeping it in good hygienic conditions – and a pregnant sow is no different. Experienced breeders wash their sow with warm water and mild soap before deploying them to the farrowing pen.
Emphasis is placed on cleaning the belly and teats – a region of high traffic from the litter. Suppose the fecal matter and soil material typically surrounding a sow’s teat and belly are not removed (via washing). In that case, the chances are high that bacteria would be transferred to the litter.
This could cause diarrhea in your litter. Washing your pregnant pig also reduces the population of roundworm eggs nesting in the pregnant pig. Such eggs would infect the litter if not promptly eliminated.
How Many Times Can a Pig Get Pregnant in a Lifetime?
Typically, a pig can deliver two litter in 12 months. Each litter contains an average size of 10 piglets.
Can a Wild Boar Mate with a Pig?
Yes. A boar-pig hybrid is achievable when a domestic pig is cross-bred with a Eurasian wild boar.