Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: runt of the litter  (Read 2709 times)


  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Buckinghamshire
runt of the litter
« on: July 02, 2010, 05:17:46 pm »

Our 8 GOS piglets are 8 weeks old this week-end and we are separating them from their mum. One however is still very much smaller than the rest. They are on weaner nuts now but she is not keen and just shuffles about disinterested. She is very slim hipped! She looks well just a little less certain than the others.

Should I leave her with the sow a little longer or separate her. We are selling six and keeping two gilts as company for the sow. i will keep her. We will keep one of the two longer term to breed from. Not sure what is best for thsi little soul.

Any advice very welcome

Sal :pig:


  • Guest
Re: runt of the litter
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2010, 11:30:00 pm »
HI Sal,
I'm not sure what would be best in terms of seperating her or leaving her with the sow a bit longer, some of the more experienced breeders will answer that one better than me  ;) Maybe try wetting the pellets so they soften a bit and are easier to eat or adding in some chopped fruit or veg to see if that gets her interested. But I wouldn't worry too much just now (as long as she is eating and drinking), by the time they're 6 months old she'll have caught up with her sister and you'll never know she was the runt  ;D ;D ;D
Good luck and let us know how she gets on,


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: runt of the litter
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2010, 07:22:39 am »
I have exactly the same situation here with a little GOS boar.  His siblings are all stonking great 12 week old monsters, he is still only 2/3rds their size.  He didnt appear to eat solids when he was young.  We kept a close eye on him to make sure he was getting milk.  We left him with mum he now enjoys his pig nuts, although as he is a slow feeder we do have to separate him at feeding time.

From past experience I would assume he will eventually catch up with the others.  Hope this helps.


  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: runt of the litter
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2010, 08:54:40 am »
About 12 mths ago I bought 2 pietrain x saddleback weaners,however I when I went to collect them there was another in the breeders litter who was  tiny tiny,easily a quarter of the size of the others,the breeder let me have her, she is now the same size as her sisters,MASSIVE, and 5 weeks ago gave birth to 13 big healthy piglets ;D with no losses,and is a brilliant mum,so hang in there!!


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: runt of the litter
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2010, 11:08:40 am »


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: runt of the litter
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2010, 07:16:58 pm »
If we are keeping, we quite often leave a runt with mum if we are not immedaitely mating her again (sow will come back into season a few days after weaning so by leaving you are delaying this).  If have weaned the rest at say 7weeks we might leave a runt for another couple of weeks.

Sow will naturally wean them at 12-16 weeks if not before - in our experience whilst the runt will probably not get much after 8-10 weeks it does neither any harm and probably helps.
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  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Buckinghamshire
Re: runt of the litter
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2010, 02:40:09 pm »
Thanks every, great advice as ever. I think i will give her another week and see how we get on. We are in no hurry.



  • Joined May 2010
Re: runt of the litter
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2010, 07:47:36 pm »

 When we went to pick up a couple of middle white weaner's the breeder offered us the runt of the litter as she would be left on her own, she was much much smaller than the other 2 gilts and the breeder was surprised that she had survived. When we got them home we were amazed at how the two other guilts were really nervy and unsteady on the rough ground but little Lara just belted over to the food and barged our 2 month old boar Boris right out of the way, hence she was christened Lara off of the tomb raider movies. She is now just 5 months old and is almost identical in size to both her sisters!
Rob & Manda :)


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