Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Piggy Dentures  (Read 4954 times)

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Piggy Dentures
« on: April 01, 2008, 09:16:56 pm »
Hello hello, good evening one and all.

Well now there's a thing!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have had our first piglets ever. Yippee!!

Around the houses a bit but here's the story.

We bought a Pietrain cross and we were told she was in pig and that they were due on 10th of March well we waited and we waited, we waited some more but not a sign so we got in touch with the vendor and he was very surprised that she hadn't produced. 'Give it a another fortnight' but nothing happened so yesterday we went out for the day and it was the first time ever we didn't check her thoroughly after we fed her but there was nothing obvious, I know in theory she should have had some signs but nothing, nowt, sod all not even a slightly enlarged nipple (ooh er missus), so we carried on as usual.

Imagine our surprise when we got in at tea time and my other half went over to feed and I fiddled (whilst Rome burnt, oops wrong story)around with our corn mill when the shout goes up ' quick quick she's had piglets' I ambled across to the paddock and sure as eggs come from tortoises there were piggies everywhere. Sadly five were dead. Perfect little mites but they had succumbed to I don't know what, isn't it sad to think that they came into the world probably squealing and snorting but it wasn't to be???

Well we had nine left and we thought, after reading some book about animal husbandry, that we should clip their teeth as per instructions in said book to stop mum getting sore teats. The noise was incredible and mum was getting stressed so after the fourth I said enough was enough and as we put the last one back in the arc she went and stood on one and it died. I am so bl***y cross that I read this book and by my actions have caused a piggy to die, so, and this is my question, what are peoples opinions of clipping teeth?? Does anyone else do it or are teeth left alone?? I really would appreciate some advice.

Thank You Peeps.


  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: Piggy Dentures
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2008, 10:19:55 pm »
Hi again - always good to read your posts.

Sorry to hear all the sad bits to your tale, how sad to lose so many piglets.  We usually lose one or two to mum sitting on them.  When John builds the new arcs for the new house we are going to fit them out with a 'creep' so hopefully this will stop the mortalities.

Re clipping teeth - no and no and no again! It has never been necessary to do this with our pigs - I think it is quite barbaric.  Please don't do it again. There are those that do it, there are those that cut tails as well -horrible, horrible, and as you found out, unnessarily stressful to all concerned, probably for you as well.

For a freerange pig that is able to move around and behave almost as nature intended, it is she that can control feed times and decide for herself when her young need to feed and for how long. In these circumstances I cannot ever see there being a problem.  I think these awful things are done in the intensive farms where the mothers are in crates and/or movement restricted so the babies control the feed times.  That certainly would/could cause mum a problem which is why they do it I suppose. She just has to be available to feed with no choices of her own at all.

I hate the idea of intensive farming and all that goes with it.

OMG  I had better get down from my soap box!

Enjoy your litter and let mum know best in the future I think.

How is darling Bubbles by the way?

Kate   :pig:
Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Piggy Dentures
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2008, 08:10:26 am »
Wonderful news, glad all is ok, enjoy your piglets.  Rest assured you will never have to routinely clip teeth, dock tales, nose ring or use a sow crate, you are a smallholder, the rules of commercialism dont apply to you.  I am sorry for your losses but 14 would be an excessive amount for her to feed.  Nine is a wonderful number.

On the teeth clipping - You should never ever clip the teeth of an outside pig, its totally not the done thing.  In fact the organics people would probably deny their organic status were you registered organic

I am sorry if this comes across as a bit strong, I have been accused before of being a bit ott when it comes to these things, so please take it as it is meant, kindly.  Thanks.  HM

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Piggy Dentures
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2008, 10:03:51 am »
Thank you V much for your replies.

I use an 8 x 8 pig arc with farrowing bars so the wee ones can get away from mum, (do you know I have just realised haven't even refered to her by her name, aren't I an old misery??) Bramley, as and when they need too. I have put a infra red lamp in just to keep the little ones comfy at night. They surely are outdoor pigs and will remain so. No more teeth clipping or unnatural happenings save one that will follow in one of paragraphs.

Can I ask a few more questions please?? In the book where it said about clipping teeth (anyone know The Complete Book Of Raising Livestock & Poultry by Katie Thear & Dr. Alistair Fraser???) it says I should be giving an intromuscular injection of iron as Bramleys milk is lacking in this resource, is this fact or fiction?? If fact is there another way of introducing iron into there regime??

What should I be doing for mum in the way of supplements, vitimins and aftercare?? As I managed to buy a small 'moulin' or mill I can make my own farine so can add or subtract ingredients to suit. A couple of the locals have advised giving lots of 'orge' (barley) flour as this is rich in what she needs, again fact or fiction??

Now another point, and this makes me cross the old dancing sticks, castration (no not me thankyou!!!!) in said book it states this should be done 'within one week of birth' is this the case and is there a quick and simple way?? I am not phased by doing such tasks and blood is not an issue (a couple of years working for a coroner in the UK prepares one for many unexpected sights when dealing with the recently departed) so can cope with doing the deed. Any pointers gratefully received.

Is there anything else I need to be doing or is it a case of mother nature taking care and telling me to 'panic not Andrew'??

Thanks for asking about Bubbles, she is taking an interest in what is happening and has her nose in the air wondering what all the fuss is about. One of our sheep, called Friendly cause she is just that, decided to wander by and then went through the electric fence to investigate the strange big pink thing that was promenading around the mud bath, not a good move for Friendly as Bubbles , being an expectant mum, was having a craving and was busy eating coal and lemon curd sandwiches or whatever it was she was devouring. Picture one pig of 320kgs and one sheep of 110kgs having a face off, first they walk around opposite each other clockwise, then the same anti clockwise then up and down and then CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! just like a medeival jousting contest but Friendly the sheep decided that the safest place was no where near an amount of prime porker hurtling along at a rate of knots so shot out of the electric fencing taking it with her as she went closely folowed by Bubbles who we managed to stop with a single stray strand of white ribbon that was the remains of the fence. Thankfully I was watching the debarcle unfold as I was administering to the new piggies and got to the fence before it got torn down.

Supposedly the life here in France is easy?? I reserve judgement!!!!


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Piggy Dentures
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2008, 11:53:14 am »
HI FG had not realised you were one of us expats.  Bramley is such a lovely name. 

OK Katie Theare and Alistair wrote that book a long time ago, before the likes of Hugh Fernley Whittingstall came onto the scene.  No one outside of a commercial environment would clip teeth these days.  Piglets running around outside need teeth to chew the bark off your trees, the roots from the grass they have uprooted and of course your wellingtons and trouser legs. 

Iron injections:  I have always understood that iron is easily available to the piglets via the sow's milk if she has access to any area of earth . The earth contains a lot of iron apparently.  I have never ever given iron injections all my pigs thrive very well without it.

I dont mix my own rations I do though give the sows a course of a good vitamin powder bought from the chemist.  It stinks of curry, pigs love it.  (Unfortunately so does everything else in the house I have to hide it from all the animals).

I am sure others would be able to give you much more advice on that than I could.  Somewhere I have a feed chart which I will dig out and pm to you. 

Neutering:  well in our house thats a forbidden subject - OH will not consider it.  Friends have theirs done at 3 days, others at 1 week, and I think Kate who is very successful does hers at 4.  Might be worth approaching your vet for advice.

Ok thats me done, except can we have some pictures please??????????

Farmer Giles

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: Piggy Dentures
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2008, 07:57:59 pm »
Quote 'HI FG had not realised you were one of us expats.'

Yes we have been here come rain or shine for nearly four years. Only really started with the animalies though since we moved to this house in fin de Julliet/ premier de Aout, hence my questions re all things four or two legged and found normally on a farm.

We are now in 36 but were originally in 37 and moved as we wanted a bit more land.

Will get some pictures and put them onto Flickr and then add a link, so watch this space!!!


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Piggy Dentures
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2008, 08:55:45 pm »
Pictures sound good.


This little piggy went to.....

Started by pikilily (7.77)

Replies: 20
Views: 7482
Last post November 16, 2010, 01:43:57 pm
by pikilily
Piggy Poo

Started by Stresshead71 (7.77)

Replies: 4
Views: 3235
Last post July 27, 2011, 10:32:23 am
by Fowgill Farm
Piggy first aid kit!

Started by Rhys Jones (7.77)

Replies: 9
Views: 3261
Last post April 01, 2013, 12:00:25 am
by Tudful Tamworths
Piggy Stories

Started by carole (7.68)

Replies: 5
Views: 6708
Last post December 15, 2007, 12:26:34 pm
by pigsatlesrues
Piggy Poo Preference!

Started by TRUFFLE (7.68)

Replies: 2
Views: 2207
Last post May 15, 2009, 09:21:10 pm
by sausagesandcash

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2023. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS