COMMENTARY

A farrowing experience
Seeing one reader’s comments about how farrowing crates decrease piglet mortality rates, a 4H mom concurs.

Posted February 22, 2005

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Dear New Farm,

My daughter raised pigs for her 4H projects. We had some very large sows that farrowed lots of baby pigs. At first, we kept them in pens when they whelped. The sows laid on most of the piglets within three or four days. We built some farrowing crates in the barn, and what a big difference! I can't remember losing any piglets due to the sow laying on them.

We had rubber mats in the crates for the sows to stand and lay on; these were easily washed off with a water hose. The sows were kept in these crates for about a week. They didn't seem to mind being brushed, scratched and fed several times a day (because we wanted to keep them happy). In my opinion, it's the only way to whelp and raise pigs.

Thank you for letting me speak out.

Brenda Teaford
Klamath Falls, Oregon