The most common problem with keeping pigs is that pigs stress. Hauling, vaccination and introducing pigs to a new environment or a new pig can be a very troublesome time. Pigs are easily stressed and scared which makes them more vulnerable to ill health. The usual signs of a stressed pig are a slower growth rate and a decrease in food consumption.
The most likely time for a pigs health to be at risk is during the first 2 - 3 weeks after pigs are purchased. If multiple pigs are bought from different sources and then mixed together and subject to hauling, injections good practice can prevent them from common diseases such as, transmissible gastroenteritis, swine influenza and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. To prevent diseases always follow excellent management practice, if a pig is being treated it is usually as a result of poor management practice.
During these critical first few weeks check your pigs regularly ensuring they have strong appetites, body temperatures of 102.5 F, smooth shiny coats and tight curly tails. All these are good signs of a healthy pig.
Always make sure that your pigs have daily access to fresh, clean water. Pigs that are deprived of water for too long will develop serious problems including brain damage. For a pig to grow rapidly and healthy they need a high energy diet. A concentrated grain feed that is low in fibre and is supplemented with plenty of protein will help your pigs grow strong and healthy.
A common mistake when feeding pigs is not providing them with the necessary vitamins to keep them healthy. Corn alone is not enough to keep your pigs healthy and growing rapidly, however, supplemented with vitamins it becomes a healthy feed.
Recognize risks on the farm
Even if you have excellent management practices you must understand that there are still diseases that are hard to prevent and that you must recognize. Before and after weaning especially, are times when pigs can become infected with roundworms, whipworms, mange or lice. Pigs can also be exposed to diseases when litters from the same farms are mixed in the nursery. All these sicknesses can be triggered or worsened when a pig is subject to stress.
If you think a pig is sick, take its rectal temperature. If it is 2 degrees or more above normal, call a veterinarian immediately.
Phil Bartholomew writes on behalf of Vet Med Plus
Vet Meds Plus provide a range of animal medication prescription and non prescriptions drugs - whether its animal health or your pets health vet meds Plus has the right treatment for your pets illness or ailments