Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Bedding for Farrowing  (Read 1919 times)


  • Joined Mar 2021
Bedding for Farrowing
« on: June 12, 2021, 11:30:54 am »
I was just wondering what bedding to put into our indoor farrowing pen for my 200kg gilt to give birth in a few weeks. Iíve read enough horror stories about straw being too deep and the piglets burying themselves under it and getting squished but wasnít sure whether I should therefore go with a chopped straw or even shavings. I could always put straw in their creep area since the gilt canít get there.
Any advice very welcome!


  • Joined Apr 2020
Re: Bedding for Farrowing
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2021, 01:58:51 pm »
I always used shavings for ours for the first week, after that the piglets are usually quick enough and loud enough (so mum knows if she's laying on them) to be fine with straw.
Good luck with your farrowing  :)


  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Bedding for Farrowing
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2021, 02:38:50 pm »
To be honest both shaving and straw have pros and cons.

Straw is very good at insulating the piglets from the cold ground. Also if a nice depth, can help with a little 'give' should the sow over-lay the piglet(s). Thus giving them a chance at not being squished. But if too deep it can increase the chance of an over-lay due to the piglet(s) being buried, which can be increased should the sow get to hot and start to dig around in the hut to find cool ground.

(Dust free) shavings are generally a cleaner option and give less chance of an over-lay by being buried. But insulation is practically non-existent which therefore increases the chance of the piglets trying to get warmth from the sow by getting right up close to her.

Horses for courses really.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Bedding for Farrowing
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2021, 09:41:29 am »
As alang points out there are pro and cons. I like shavings. Piglets dry off quickly in them. If straw not too much and short or chopped. Whatever you go for keep clean and dry as sows will mix everything up when nest making. Creep areas are great but piglets can take a while to get the hang of using them.

The danger times are during farrowing when sows might turn or get up and down and the piglets haven't learnt to get out of the way. And over the first week when sows get up to clean, eat and drink and piglets start looking for a drink so are under her feet when she moves about and lies back down.

Farrowing rails are great if you can fit them.



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