These tiny piglets were born on Sunday. Monday night, they received iron injections, navel cord treatment with iodine, and had their needle teeth clipped. Today I will notch their ears, cut their tails, and recheck navels.
I will post pictures and discuss why we perform each process as we do them.
The iron injections are necessary because piglets are naturally born with an iron deficiency. In the wild, they get that iron from eating soil, or they die. For me, I’m never interested in letting babies die, so a single iron injection is best. I administer an iron supplement specifically formulated for baby pigs. They receive 1 ml of iron in the inner thigh muscle.
We also clip needle teeth for 2 main reasons:
1. They hurt! Needle teeth are razor sharp. They are for piglet self-defense. In a farm setting, they only cause harm. Piglets fight, just like siblings tend to do. They will harm one another, and possibly any children who play with them.
2. The sow. I have waited a few days to clip needle teeth in the past. It results in cuts to my sow’s udder every time. I definitely don’t want more problems for my mama pig who is putting all of her resources into raising babies.
Navel care is important because it is a potential site of infection or herniation. I like to clip them short after they are born, and clean with iodine at least once a day for the first few days.
I will follow up with the ear notching system that we use, along with the reason for cutting tails short.