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Author Topic: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area  (Read 11165 times)

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« on: January 11, 2012, 07:43:51 pm »
My two osb sows are housed in 10ft sq stable with similar sized run bedded on barley straw - they are due very soon.  I would be very grateful for suggestions as to how you prevent crushing - how deep do you bed? I thought about partitioning off a corner as a creep area but have no electric at the moment in the stables.  Suggestions appreciated

oaklandspigs

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 08:48:19 am »
We put a metal hurdle upside down (gaps are bigger at the top) across a corner, fixed to screw eyes on the wall.

Bed wise, you're pig will decide how deep, she'll build a nest - different pigs different nests from nothing at all to something Edmund Hilary would see as challenging


You cannot eliminate  squashing, and again it is very pig dependant, although gilts are more prone.  This happens even in intensive systems with farrowing crates.

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HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 09:14:06 am »
In the absence of a hurdle, you could try a ladder laid on it's side across a corner (use blocks of wood to anchor it in place) but I'd try to get a heat source in there if you can - it's chilly and having a nice warm area away from mum will help reduce the chances of squishing  :thumbsup:

Good luck for the farrowing - hope you've got your Sweetheart stout to hand  ;)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 09:16:38 am »
I can tell you about my so far one-and-only litter from my OSB.  It was her and my first litter.  She farrowed outside in her 9 x 7 ark, with plenty of fresh barley straw.  I didn't make a creep area.  She had 5 strapping little piglets.  She'd build them a 'beehive' in a corner and chase them into it to keep them warm snug and safe.  She was incredibly careful about nosing through the straw very thoroughly to make sure they were all safe before she lay down. 


Watching her I did think how hard it would be for a sow with a big litter to avoid all of the wee ones when she lay down. 

I haven't quite made up my mind whether or not to make a creep area for her next time, but I suspect I won't and will prefer to let her 'do it all natural', accepting that there may be an odd casualty. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 09:21:20 am »
Are you planning to farrow both of them together in the same stable?
If so you may find it a tight squeeze and when the first one farrows the other might object to little creatures or try to 'help' and also you may find one sow feeding all the piglets, try to have separate farrowing quarters if you can.
HTH
mandy  :pig:

Berkshire Boy

  • Joined May 2011
  • Presteigne, Powys
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 09:53:14 am »
I do as Sally and leave them to make their nest and keep the little ones warm.
I do have a few casualties but not that often and I wouldn't worry too much about a heat lamp I had a couple of litters through the winter last year no problems.
With the squishing I find the first 24 hours is when it happens after that the sow is a bit more aware of them and them of her.
Good luck when it happens. :wave:
Everyone makes mistakes as the Dalek said climbing off the dustbin.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 03:03:07 pm »
difference of opinion here if there is no heat lamp piglets will try to snuggle up to mother and that is when you get them flatpacked         up to 4 days they are still prone to being flatpacked
a creap area has to be solid or mother will root it out    oh and piglets can flatten there litter mates as well :farmer:

Berkshire Boy

  • Joined May 2011
  • Presteigne, Powys
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 03:11:32 pm »
nice to see you back Robert. :wave:
Everyone makes mistakes as the Dalek said climbing off the dustbin.

thestephens

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • aberdeenshire
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 07:05:14 pm »
we made a creep area the first time round with heat lamp and no one used it!

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 10:08:58 pm »
Thanks for all the suggestions- they have a stable and run area each - will keep you posted

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2012, 09:29:19 pm »
Well they have both farrowed - Onion had 8 piglets - 4 looked good enough to register but unfortunately the next day I found one gilt (best of the lot) dead >:(.  Sage had hers a couple of days later -  on my birthday! was there when she farrowed - 11 - two still born - 9 live and kicking but next day  one dead - also eligible for registration so a bummer :(

Good news is we have 15 live and kicking and some look really good enough to register.  Was seriously thinking on stop keeping the pigs as a very expensive "hobby", however, to have been allowed in to witness the birth and then to have total harmony to go in and sit with the sows and their piglets makes it all worthwhile. 

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 07:41:26 am »
Congratulations on your litters Cuckoo !

I can sympathise with the loss of the piglets, in my last litter (the KKxOSB) we lost the very best gilt too, and last year's litter of Kune Kunes also saw the best (and biggest) gilt dead on day 2.
It's always the good ones  :'( :'( :'(

Glad everyone else is doing well though and yes, piglets make all the bad/mucky/expensive bits sooooooo worthwhile  ;) ;D

Karen  :wave:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 09:10:30 am »
Congratulations cuckoo, Onion and Sage!   :love: :pig: :pig: :pig:

Sad to hear of the squishings; when you've had time to ruminate on it I'd be interested to know whether you would make a creep area another time?  (I was lucky this time - but 5 piglets are fairly easy to avoid; 11 is more than twice the problem!  I still haven't made up my mind whether I will or won't make a creep area next time.)

Anyways, enjoy your lovelies; Meg having her litter and caring for them has been just about the best thing I have ever done.  :love: :pig: :pig: :pig: 

Oh - and happy belated birthday!

Sally x
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 11:02:10 am »
Congratualtions Cuckoo and well done your girlies.
Yes seeing a farrowing makes it all worthwhile, last night when i went out to shut Clover & her babies in she was sound asleep in a big straw nest and all 8 piglets were snuggled in a straw nest in the creche under the heat lamp, it was minus 5 outside, they all looked so peaceful and cosy.
And agree with HH its always the best ones that squished or maimed!
Enjoy your babies, best of luck, i'm sure i don't need to tell you but keep checking mum(s) is managing and start to gradually build her feed up, make sure she's doing her business ok and that her udder is relatively cool.
HTH
Mandy  :pig:

Tamsaddle

  • Joined May 2011
  • Hampshire, near Portsmouth
Re: Help! Suggestions to provide creep area
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2012, 10:14:22 am »
Just for info, I am attaching two photos of the creep area I have constructed and which has been very successful, and can be moved to wherever you need it.   All our farrowing arks have a front and back door, and it is positioned next to the back door where it is easy for us to get access to.  The angled struts at one end is so that it will fit in both our curved and triangular arks without hitting the wall.    If the sow makes a fuss about it being there we simply screw its floor onto the floor below.   In the first photo the heat lamp is in the wrong place - later it was positioned on the tightened chain between the top and side beam right over the creep area.    The dimensions of the 18 mm ply floor are 610 x 800 mm, and the height of the gap for the piglets to get into is 240 mm.   Obviously this is only for very small piglets, up to about 10 days, but those are the days they are most likely to need protection from squashing and really appreciate the warmth.  All the best - Tamsaddle

 

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