Hog and Dogs Ranch / Produce

  (Herald, California)
Piggin out on natural grown pig
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Birthing crates

I have a question? Why do most hog farmers push birthing crates on new breeders,I have never understood, we have raised hogs,swine,pigs,piglets for over 20 years never owned one never needed one. However I did by one a few months ago, for $50.00 from a very smart man that upgraded to a newer model,  through his whole barn  He was very surprised with the reason I bought it Not for what it was intended, We took it concreted it to a 6 inch slab if i need to give a shot  of give any unpleasant anything i just move them into it. works great.  But for having babies NO I am in not way a tree huger but as a mother of 7 you would have to kill me to get me to spend my labor hours and the next 2 weeks after in a box. Whats your opinion and why ? 
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I don't raise hogs, but my question would be: how do the animals "do their thang" in the wild? Do the mamas go to ground in an earthen den, and stay there for 2 weeks after giving birth? If it is a natural process for wild porcine, then YES I could see the sense in it. If it is not, and it is an unnatural situation for the mamas and babes, er, no. Since I have no clue what the gestation, birthing and young birth period is for mama and piglets, I have no answers, only more questions. :)

Posted by Kathie on March 07, 2012 at 10:24 AM PST #

We just posted your question on the LocalHarvest Facebook page. Check it out. Answers are coming in.


Posted by Megan E. Hanson on March 07, 2012 at 10:33 AM PST #

We never used crates. Thought they were stupid. Our ladies birthed for the most part in stalls with no problems. We even had some that had babies outside in a nest they made themselves out of grasses and rooted up dirt. Healthy happy pigs! Large litters, happy mommas, no stress! One boar to 40 sows and they all came in within 2 weeks of each other--outdoors is good for all animals! Give them cramped quarters and nothing good happens.

Posted by Tracy on March 07, 2012 at 10:41 AM PST #

I do however agree with having some sort of crate on hand if you even need to treat an animal. Pigs can be hard to deal with at times and a crate or chute you can use to medicate if needed, doctor up, etc., can come in handy for the 1-2 times a year you may need it.

Posted by Tracy on March 07, 2012 at 10:43 AM PST #

I would NEVER go close to a mother pig and her litter the first few days with out her being confined in some way. She can severely hurt her self in labor, hurt her litter and us as her care takers. I like to keep them in a good crate for the first few days, until she is out of labor, nursing her litter, and not aggressive toward her litter. I also like to give her a few Tylenol or ibuprofen for her pain. Good luck.

Posted by Marte at Tangle Tree Ranch on March 07, 2012 at 05:58 PM PST #

Thanks for all the comments we feel the same way as most, outside or in a stall of sorts is better for birthing animals ,,To reply to Tangle Tree ranch I have had aggressive mamas but only for one litter. they go to the sale along with all there babies don't want to take the chance of a personality problem,we are able to get in the pen with all our mamas and help if needed, pick up the babies move them never had any problem but all of our moms are bought young, and raised here being handled daily,because I know what can happen I don't want it to happen to me. we have at one time had 35 mamas birth rate is great

Posted by on March 09, 2012 at 08:35 AM PST #

Tracy you've had them make nest we wanted to try the totally outside, but were afraid they would just tear up everything, how did you keep that from happening? I would love to learn how to do that we have lots of land in trees, I can handle all of ours will they revert to a more wild state or if i keep handling them like I always have stay calm and mellow??

Posted by Brien and Debbie on March 09, 2012 at 06:30 PM PST #

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