Livestock

Worming Pigs

If you are going to keep pigs on the same land all year or are going to breed pigs, you will need to address the issue of worms. Worms can be passed to piglets through the placenta so most breeders will worm the sow shortly before farrowing, which will also protect the piglets – but do check with the breeder.

We never worm our pigs, but we buy weaners and only keep them for six months, and the ground gets at least six month's rest between pigs.

Faecal worm tests are now available for pigs; these will tell you how many worm eggs are in the faeces, so you can decide whether you need to worm or not. The test will also tell you if your worming programme and management systems are successfully dealing with worms.

There are various types of wormers available – injectable, edible pellet or water-soluble.

Remember, wormers have a withdrawal period during which the pig cannot be slaughtered for human consumption. Any administration of wormer, or any other medicine, must be recorded in a Medicine Record book and be available for inspection by Animal Health officials.

Rosemary Champion

About Rosemary Champion

Rosemary lives on a 12 acre smallholding in Angus, in the east of Scotland, where she keeps Ryeland Sheep, Shetland cattle and assorted poultry. She was destined to be a smallholder from an early age.

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