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I'm trying to make sense of my pig's death yesterday. I'm NOT minimizing what I did in any way at all. Trust me - I feel horrible and guilty beyond words.

 

Our normal routine was to turn out the pigs at 7:00, give them their grain soaked in extra water, making a thin mush, then watering down their wallowing hole. The hole is sandy and didn't keep the water but it was a nice place for them to lay down to cool down, after their initial rolling in it.

 

Then on hot days we'd go out a few hours later to hose them down and give them water. They rarely drank the water - they'd just dump it and roll in it. I've learned that pigs rarely drink water. This holds true for my potbellies and my big pigs, and this is why ALL my pigs get a VERY watery mash for their meals.

 

I'd put them inside during the afternoon heat, turning them out to their shady area late afternoon/early evening, and again water down their wallowing hole. They'd stay out until about 10:00 at night or so.

 

I have two big pigs. The one only panted a couple of times on the hot days. The other was so heat intolerant. He collapsed a couple of times due to heat and yet the other pig was fine. That's why I put them inside during the hottest part of the day, and also why we hosed them down through out the day.

 

Yesterday I didn't fill their water hole before I left. I will always regret that. But I remember it was a cooler morning than we'd had in weeks, and it was so gorgeous that all the kids were outside in the morning. We left around 11:45 and it was 75 outside, and I'm quite sure I remember thinking it was a nice day to leave them out. I checked weather.com and it said that in our area it was 84 yesterday. When I left close to noon it was 75, I distinctly remember checking the thermometer when I started my car. When dh got home at 6:00 he said it was 82 outside. Low humidity yesterday. GORGEOUS.

 

My mistake was not watering down the pig and filling the hole.

 

My question is this: Why would one pig die and the other be perfectly fine? Not even a pant? I've been doing some reading today and I understand what I did wrong, but since this one pig, the smaller one, was the one who was always having issues with the heat, do you think maybe he was sick? It's the larger, fatter pig that was always fine. Just last week I went out at about 11:00 and poor Oreo had collapsed. I hosed him down for about 20 minutes before he could stand to get inside the barn. I continued to hose him down on the cement floor for another 20 - 30 minutes and then left him inside once I saw that he had recovered.

 

84 for part of the day. Low humidity. One pig perfectly fine, one dead. I can't make sense of this unless my poor Oreo was sick. Any opinions?

 

Spot is very lonely today. We're not going to get another large pig right now, but are their other animals that will make a good companion? Or will he be happy alone? He's definitely lonely today. Poor guy. I feel so badly.

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Denise, I'm wondering if he could have had a problem (maybe with his heart?) that made him more susceptible to heat and even death.

 

this is what I'm wondering. I only found a few things online about pigs and heat, and I do believe they are heat intolerant. BUT, he had SEVERE issues with heat. I read that PEOPLE are more intolerant to heat if they have underlying disease, heart/kidney issues, etc. So I've been wondering all day, especially where every time he had a serious issue, (three times before his death, but a LOT of panting) the other pig was perfectly fine.

 

Poor guy. What a terrible way to die.

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It's very possible that something was wrong with Oreo. The circumstances you describe would be common around here and most of the pigs would be fine. According to our large livestock committee, certain breeds of pigs are more prone to heart problems. I wonder if that could have something to do with it. Also, PSS (Porcine Stress Syndrome) is a possibility. When you found him, did he have any red blotches on his skin? Did it look like he had keeled over without a struggle? Rigor Mortis? PSS is a gene/chromosomal problem and causes the muscles to change from one kind of respiration to another type which creates a toxic chemical reaction in the body. The pig is usually just having a little fun, maybe had a quick run, and then book, down he goes. The chemical reaction causes the body to overheat very, very rapidly (body temperature will hit 109 and higher in a matter of a couple of minutes) and if not found literally, immediately, and cooled, the animal will die. The weather doesn't have to be really hot in order for this to happen. It is one of the more common causes of a sudden pig death in an otherwise healthy animal.

 

Your routine is fairly similar to ours but our pigs have the door to their cement block shelter left open so they can retire out of the sun. Their large run is fenced around the shelter so we don't have to worry about letting them in and out. Last year we got tired of constantly refilling the "wallow". So, this year we got a wading pool and dug it down in so that they can play. We put beach sand in the bottom, filled it about 1/3 with this, and then filled it with water. It makes a wet, sandy beach type play area to roll in.

 

Faith

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It's very possible that something was wrong with Oreo. The circumstances you describe would be common around here and most of the pigs would be fine. According to our large livestock committee, certain breeds of pigs are more prone to heart problems. I wonder if that could have something to do with it. Also, PSS (Porcine Stress Syndrome) is a possibility. When you found him, did he have any red blotches on his skin? Did it look like he had keeled over without a struggle? Rigor Mortis? PSS is a gene/chromosomal problem and causes the muscles to change from one kind of respiration to another type which creates a toxic chemical reaction in the body. The pig is usually just having a little fun, maybe had a quick run, and then book, down he goes. The chemical reaction causes the body to overheat very, very rapidly (body temperature will hit 109 and higher in a matter of a couple of minutes) and if not found literally, immediately, and cooled, the animal will die. The weather doesn't have to be really hot in order for this to happen. It is one of the more common causes of a sudden pig death in an otherwise healthy animal.

 

Your routine is fairly similar to ours but our pigs have the door to their cement block shelter left open so they can retire out of the sun. Their large run is fenced around the shelter so we don't have to worry about letting them in and out. Last year we got tired of constantly refilling the "wallow". So, this year we got a wading pool and dug it down in so that they can play. We put beach sand in the bottom, filled it about 1/3 with this, and then filled it with water. It makes a wet, sandy beach type play area to roll in.

 

Faith

 

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE TELLING ME THIS!!!!!!!!!! IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!!!

 

The pigs are black. I originally picked out another pig to go with Spot, but the other pig died and they gave me Oreo. The pigs were like dogs, running and playing, even tossing around balls and sticks. The times he had issues int he past, he was SO HOT TO THE TOUCH, while the other pig was not. Yesterday I questioned why my BLACK pig had a few large red splotches on his few light skinned areas. SO THIS MAKES SENSE. Rigor mortis had set in. He was laying down on his side, like usual, but his legs stuck straight out as if he was still standing. He had blood coming from his nose, and I assumed that it was due to his weight crushing him?????

 

I know with heat stroke there is vomiting. There was none of that.

 

We did not have shade until late afternoon, but we wanted to move them to another area. I will always regret this. I wanted to truck in some clay for a large wallowing hole but I like your idea. Thanks!

 

 

I need to go research what you told me! With the additional information I just shared, what do you think?

 

You've been SO kind and so helpful!!!! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

also, he had something coming out of his nose. It looked like a large pink worm? He also had blood and some milky, sticky stuff coming out.

 

Younger ds said he was very red, but I remember seeing large red spots. I have three black pigs and they DO NOT BURN. One of them I've had for 7 years now. So the red skin doesn't make sense.

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Hi Denise,

 

Having talked extensively with the large livestock director of our county 4-h department on the topic of pigs and heat (we researched this last yer before we purchased feeder pigs to raise), I am convinced that this is what your Oreo had. Rigor Mortis should take much longer than that to set in and those red blotches along with being almost too hot to touch are absolutely classic symptoms of PSS. He also told us that if our pigs had it, they'd likely die and there wouldn't be a thing we could do about it unless we intended on sitting out with them all day long every single day until they headed to the meat packing plant. So, we just provided a place to get cool and hoped for the best.

 

Many of the 4-H kids are very careful about the bloodlines/breeders that they purchase in an effort to eliminate the chances of getting a pig with this genetic deficiency. They pay a lot more for their feeder pigs to get them from farms that have gone to the work of genetictesting their sows and then culling out the carriers, but it preserves their investment and frankly, it's pretty awful to get up the morning of the pig swine show and find your prize animal died and it was only 70-75 degrees that night and early morning!

 

I'm glad I was able to help you out. I'm no pig expert (still working on horse and sheep) but this just rung a bell with me from talking with the 4-h people last year.

 

Faith

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Face it, you'll never know, just like I'll never know what really happened to Memphis at the trainer's place. She might have had a heart problem or she might have strangled herself in her stall.

 

Let it go.

 

I know you're right. I *know* it! But something just doesn't seem right here. AND, I've been questioning it all day because I felt like I killed him. With what I'm learning, I'm not so sure now.

 

I need to go do some reading!

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He also told us that if our pigs had it, they'd likely die and there wouldn't be a thing we could do about it unless we intended on sitting out with them all day long every single day

 

 

 

Denise, this really sounds like this was it. And it was not negligence on your family's part. I know it still hurts but I think Oreo was going to die at some time from this no matter what you did.

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Hi Denise,

 

 

 

Many of the 4-H kids are very careful about the bloodlines/breeders that they purchase in an effort to eliminate the chances of getting a pig with this genetic deficiency. They pay a lot more for their feeder pigs to get them from farms that have gone to the work of genetictesting their sows and then culling out the carriers, but it preserves their investment and frankly, it's pretty awful to get up the morning of the pig swine show and find your prize animal died and it was only 70-75 degrees that night and early morning!

 

 

 

Faith

 

I'm going to go read up on what you've shared. It definitely sounds like this is what he likely had. We had saved him in the past when he was struggling and HOT, but it all makes sense. He was a HERITAGE BREED pig!!! A rare pig, Tamworth and something else.... Buck Horn? They're bred to clear land, and also for their excellent quality, extremely lean meat. So it's weird that he maybe had this. He was NOT the runt of the litter. The runt I had picked out and he's the one that died before I went to get him.

 

THANK YOU!!!

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Denise, this really sounds like this was it. And it was not negligence on your family's part. I know it still hurts but I think Oreo was going to die at some time from this no matter what you did.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:You're SO sweet. I truly believe this. I couldn't figure out why one pig was perfectly fine all the time, the other collapsing and EXTREMELY hot to the touch. It was truly a beautiful day yesterday. And still, Spot is perfectly fine and Oreo is dead. :crying::crying::crying:

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I know you're right. I *know* it! But something just doesn't seem right here. AND, I've been questioning it all day because I felt like I killed him. With what I'm learning, I'm not so sure now.

 

I need to go do some reading!

 

I know, something was not right about the way Memphis died either, but I'll still never know.

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I am CERTAIN PSS is what he had. I've read on a few different sites now. My hosing him down all the time was delaying the inevitable.

 

PSS can cause a slower growth and leaner pig, as stated on one of the veterinary sites I read. He was the smaller, leaner pig.

 

I'm really quite relieved. I'm glad his suffering is over. I thought all these "episodes" were due to heat. I just thought he was heat intolerant. It wasn't that, though. Even when we found him he was still EXTREMELY hot, and Spot was not hot At All and not even panting.

 

I'm glad his suffering is over, and dh and ds both noted the large red blotches on him. Poor baby.

 

I can't even tell you how relieved I am that I didn't cause his death.

 

THANKS!!!

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Oh, Denise: I am so relieved that you have answers that make sense.:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

thank you! You have NO idea how relieved I am. It all makes sense now. It's just so sad, though. Oreo died because he loved to play. Playing (aerobic exercise) brings this on, and death occurs in as little as 10 minutes.

 

He had pretty much ALL the symptoms. I was just lucky enough to catch it earlier.

 

Instead of grief and guilt, I am relieved that his suffering is over. But I miss him.

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I don't have any insight into what happened to your pig but I do know that it eases my mind to know that our pigs always have clean water available. We have a 50 gallon drum fitted with one of these. We do give them a basin to wollow in and hose them off regularily, but they can also get thier own clean water from the drum at all times. They do drink out of it quite a bit. This is the only way I know of to provide a pig with clean, drinkable water. They make such a mess out of everything else. I'm really sorry for your loss. I wouldn't blame myself if I were you. You just don't know why he died for sure. All you can do is move forward.

 

VC117464l.jpg

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I don't have any insight into what happened to your pig but I do know that it eases my mind to know that our pigs always have clean water available. We have a 50 gallon drum fitted with one of these. We do give them a basin to wollow in and hose them off regularily, but they can also get thier own clean water from the drum at all times. They do drink out of it quite a bit. This is the only way I know of to provide a pig with clean, drinkable water. They make such a mess out of everything else. I'm really sorry for your loss. I wouldn't blame myself if I were you. You just don't know why he died for sure. All you can do is move forward.

 

VC117464l.jpg

 

I always thought that hole at the bottom of the trough was for drainage. I never used it, I'd just dump the trough to clean it.

 

Honestly, my pigs VERY RARELY drink water. They used to have a pool of it all the time, but they started to crush. it. I was going to do something else and we were deciding where to have their permanent outdoor space when this happened. I still would feel better having a constant water source, and I saw an awesome, hard plastic pool at the rescue yesterday that I want to check into. I also have a sofpool that I can use for him for water and wallowing. Dh and I are trying to decide.

 

He had his issue several times, was bread for lean meat(this makes him susceptible to PSS), dark red skin - I'm certain he had PSS.

 

Does that thing you show just screw into the water trough? I'm going to have to find one. If I keep the trough full he won't be able to knock it over.

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thank you! You have NO idea how relieved I am. It all makes sense now. It's just so sad, though. Oreo died because he loved to play. Playing (aerobic exercise) brings this on, and death occurs in as little as 10 minutes.

 

He had pretty much ALL the symptoms. I was just lucky enough to catch it earlier.

 

Instead of grief and guilt, I am relieved that his suffering is over. But I miss him.

 

Well, you will have to go through the grieving process, but you won't have to be guilt-stricken now. Grieving will be necessary, though, you know that. :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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PSS came to my mind, too. As for the surviving pig's mental state, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Animals are mighty adaptable critters. Humans are too, but we tend to overthink. Pigs just figure: he was here yesterday; he's not here today. Guess I get all the grub to myself from now on.

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Does that thing you show just screw into the water trough? I'm going to have to find one. If I keep the trough full he won't be able to knock it over.

 

The automatic waterer that I posted a picture of gets fitted to a plastic 55 gallon drum like this. You buy the drum used, you get the waterer at tractor supply and you make it yourself. It works fantastic and the pigs never run out of water and they can't get the water contaminated. We've used them for several years and all our pigs have learned quickly how to press on the lever to get the water out. We also provide other water for them to wallow in.

200_litre_water_drum.jpg

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I'm sorry to hear about your pig, but a few things jump out at me here. My dh has been a hog farmer his whole life and there are several points in your OP that concern us. We think someone has terribly misinformed you if you were told pigs don't drink a lot of water. They actually do need a constant source of fresh water. Not water mixed in their food or muddy puddle water. They need to drink as much as people do. Their systems operate very similarly to ours. Also, we wonder if you have some shelter or shade for them when they are outside. Like people, they are prone to sunburn, heat stroke, etc. when outdoors.

 

Since you only have a couple (few?), KateMary's idea of attaching a waterer to a rain barrel would be a good choice. We would recommend that you go with a nipple type of waterer, as hogs find it easier than those small trough-like ones. The little trough-like ones also harbour debris which contaminates their water and they are less likely to drink what they need of yucky water -- surely we'd hesitate to drink it too!

 

Here are 2 we use:

trj75.jpglixit2.jpg

 

Last thing is... what kind of "grain" are you feeding them? They should not have whole grain. It should be chopped. They also need a variety to thrive. Chopped barley is good, chopped wheat is okay, but either one will need supplement mixed in with it. Or, since you only have a few hogs, it might be more efficient for you to purchase pre-mixed hog feed at a good feed store. At any rate, none of their feed should be watered down or soaked. If you choose to offer them slop (like scraps and such) every now and then, that is fine, and it is often soupy, but for optimum health, that shouldn't be the staple of their diet. Remember, too, that grains are fed to hogs to help them gain weight rapidly and be ready for market. If you are keeping your pigs for reasons other than food, you may want to back off on the volume of grain, or you will end up with very, very hefty pigs. Large pigs are formidable creatures. If yours are also unaltered, they can become aggressive during estrus (or for a boar -- aggressive whenever they darn well feel like it!) The bigger they are, the more dangerous they could be to you. Of course, that's also a personality thing. Some sows are always sweethearts. We've never met a boar who wasn't a big old b**tard, though. :)

 

We hope you get things sorted out there. Don't feel too bad about this pig dying. They will sometimes succumb to the most unexpected minor illnesses. There's nothing you can really do about it. Good luck with your pigventures. :)

Edited by Audrey
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PSS came to my mind, too. As for the surviving pig's mental state, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Animals are mighty adaptable critters. Humans are too, but we tend to overthink. Pigs just figure: he was here yesterday; he's not here today. Guess I get all the grub to myself from now on.

 

 

I don't know. I swear sometimes they are as capable of complex thought as we are. I've known some very intuitive pigs, and some very intelligent ones, too. We used to have a sow who would chuffle and call for her piglets for weeks after they'd been weaned off of her. Eventually she had no interest in breeding at all. It was almost as if she knew what was coming. She was a gentle girl, so never fought having her piglets removed, but the imploring look she'd give when you met her eyes broke our hearts. So, we stopped breeding her and let her spend the rest of her days with her last female piglet.

 

Other hogs have indicated that they know they're going for slaughter. They fight getting on the truck and then once they're on, they give you that look of sad resignation.

 

We no longer have hogs on large scale for commercial market. (The hog market has pretty much collapsed anyway). Dh sells a few to neighbours and we have some for ourselves and family. They are, to say the least, interesting creatures.

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I'm sorry to hear about your pig, but a few things jump out at me here. My dh has been a hog farmer his whole life and there are several points in your OP that concern us. We think someone has terribly misinformed you if you were told pigs don't drink a lot of water. They actually do need a constant source of fresh water. Not water mixed in their food or muddy puddle water. They need to drink as much as people do. Their systems operate very similarly to ours. Also, we wonder if you have some shelter or shade for them when they are outside. Like people, they are prone to sunburn, heat stroke, etc. when outdoors.

 

Since you only have a couple (few?), KateMary's idea of attaching a waterer to a rain barrel would be a good choice. We would recommend that you go with a nipple type of waterer, as hogs find it easier than those small trough-like ones. The little trough-like ones also harbour debris which contaminates their water and they are less likely to drink what they need of yucky water -- surely we'd hesitate to drink it too!

 

Here are 2 we use:

trj75.jpglixit2.jpg

 

Last thing is... what kind of "grain" are you feeding them? They should not have whole grain. It should be chopped. They also need a variety to thrive. Chopped barley is good, chopped wheat is okay, but either one will need supplement mixed in with it. Or, since you only have a few hogs, it might be more efficient for you to purchase pre-mixed hog feed at a good feed store. At any rate, none of their feed should be watered down or soaked. If you choose to offer them slop (like scraps and such) every now and then, that is fine, and it is often soupy, but for optimum health, that shouldn't be the staple of their diet. Remember, too, that grains are fed to hogs to help them gain weight rapidly and be ready for market. If you are keeping your pigs for reasons other than food, you may want to back off on the volume of grain, or you will end up with very, very hefty pigs. Large pigs are formidable creatures. If yours are also unaltered, they can become aggressive during estrus (or for a boar -- aggressive whenever they darn well feel like it!) The bigger they are, the more dangerous they could be to you. Of course, that's also a personality thing. Some sows are always sweethearts. We've never met a boar who wasn't a big old b**tard, though. :)

 

We hope you get things sorted out there. Don't feel too bad about this pig dying. They will sometimes succumb to the most unexpected minor illnesses. There's nothing you can really do about it. Good luck with your pigventures. :)

 

I've had potbellies for 7 years, 4 of them now, and two boars. I'm telling you, I leave water out and they do NOT drink it. This is why I give over watered feed. My potbelly that died died at 14 and this is all he ate. I got his feed shipped right from the rescue until I switched to mini pig feed two years back.

 

The boars, both altered and SWEET, were on grower food. They had a permanent water source until they learned a way to dump EVERY one to roll in the water. They do not drink much AT ALL. This, too, is why I give them watered down pig and sow food. I go out several times per day to fill their hole. They do NOT drink the water. I fill buckets and large aluminum and rubber buckets/troughs - no drinking. They find a way to dump it and roll it. This is why I give overwatered feed, to make sure they're getting enough water. The pig rescue farm told me I could leave water out but they wouldn't drink it. I put the water in a large square bowl and it would sit for DAYS.

 

I had a place for my boars, both pets, that had to be temporarily moved while we have our construction going on. We didn't want the cement/delivery trucks scaring the pigs.

 

I have plans to correct the problem.

 

I also know that this one pig was dangerously hot and collapsed a few times while his litter mate was perfectly fine. I never felt a living creature as hot as this pig. This coupled with the bright red blotches and instant rigor mortis, on top of the dangerously hot/collapsing episodes, make me certain my pig had PSS. I will be discussing this with my vet.

 

Again, one pig dead, one pig fine, this after one pig collapsed a few times and was dangerously hot/panting uncontrollably (this in their other area with a mud pit and water source and inthe spring before it got very hot) I know there was something wrong with that one pig. Had I known what, I would have cared for him differently.

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I don't know. I swear sometimes they are as capable of complex thought as we are. I've known some very intuitive pigs, and some very intelligent ones, too. We used to have a sow who would chuffle and call for her piglets for weeks after they'd been weaned off of her. Eventually she had no interest in breeding at all. It was almost as if she knew what was coming. She was a gentle girl, so never fought having her piglets removed, but the imploring look she'd give when you met her eyes broke our hearts. So, we stopped breeding her and let her spend the rest of her days with her last female piglet.

 

Other hogs have indicated that they know they're going for slaughter. They fight getting on the truck and then once they're on, they give you that look of sad resignation.

 

We no longer have hogs on large scale for commercial market. (The hog market has pretty much collapsed anyway). Dh sells a few to neighbours and we have some for ourselves and family. They are, to say the least, interesting creatures.

 

my boar couldn't possibly be sweeter. I exposed him to my three potbellies for an hour today and the POTBELLIES, all female, dominated him.

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for anyone thinking my pigs didn't get enough water, according to this site

 

http://www.thepigsite.com/articles/1247/how-much-water-do-pigs-need

 

and this one

 

http://www.ncsu.edu/project/swine_extension/nutrition/nutritionguide/water/water.htm

 

mine got more than the required amount. In fact, the amount of water in their feed was far more than that.

 

I saw that wet feed isn't recommended because of mold and bacteria concerns. My boars licked their feed container clean every morning and every evening, before being turned out and before being closed in at night.

 

They also were hosed down and offered more water - and the rarely drank the water.

 

Again, Friday was a very pleasant day and it was low humidity.

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I'm sorry to hear about your pig, but a few things jump out at me here. My dh has been a hog farmer his whole life and there are several points in your OP that concern us. We think someone has terribly misinformed you if you were told pigs don't drink a lot of water. They actually do need a constant source of fresh water. Not water mixed in their food or muddy puddle water. They need to drink as much as people do. Their systems operate very similarly to ours.

 

this will be my last post. ;) I'm wondering if they all drank less water, or weren't interested in it when offered, because they got so much with their meals. Like I said in a pp, they get a thin, watery mash. I read this can be beneficial but can't site my source right now. In any event, the boars and potbellies have done perfectly fine on it, all but my sickly boar.

 

Also, they ruined the shade shelter we had for them in their temporary place. This is why we put them inside in the afternoon. Like I said, I didn't Friday because of the weather conditions. We weren't prepared to make their permanent day dwelling right now, but this has forced us to. It will be ALL shade and I have ideas for a wallowing hole. Don't know if it will fully work with my 5 ducks.

 

My potbellies never, ever touch the water left out for them, but they do take a few sips of duck-poo soup out of the duck pool. :glare:

 

The fact remains: One boar collapsed and had issues one a few occasions, one boar barely panted twice, rarely showed signs of distress.

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Denise-I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your pet. I'm glad though that you understand it wasn't your fault-you probably kept him going for far longer than he would have otherwise lived. And he had a happy life, from the sound of it. ((hugs))

 

Catherine

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The boars, both altered and SWEET, were on grower food.

.

 

 

Ah... so yours aren't boars then. Altered males are barrows and yes, they can be quite tame and sweet. Boars are specifically unaltered males, generally used for breeding -- whole 'nother personality there. ;) They're very territorial and if around females in estrus are quite dangerous. I would suppose even a little potbelly boar could get nasty and dangerous. Our boars are well over 600 lbs. and my gosh those things are powerful! Although we try to keep a civil relationship with them, we know better than to get in their way.

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Audrey is not joking about the attitude of some boars! I've seen a few that were decent. But, even 4-H issues warnings to the girls about being around the boars when they themselves are in "heat". Plus, it is also very dangerous for a woman wearing an estrogen patch.

 

Rams are also this way. The farm that I work on only has two rams and they are romneys - small breed. But, any agressive behaviors whatsoever from a ram causes him to be on the wrong end of a rifle. These are the gentlest rams I've ever seen yet, I still exercise quite a bit of caution when working around them. Last year, Sheep Magazine reported that a ram had killed it's shepherdess...she was having a hard time with peri-menopause and was on an estrogen patch. They smell it and any attempts to "ward off" their advances makes them think you are a wayward ewe refusing their intentions and they get mean. If they have horns, they are positively lethal.

 

Please Denise, don't let anyone talk you into rescuing a boar. Not unless you have a set up in which you would never really need to enter his pen and he would left pretty well alone. Boars get very, very big even if you aren't feeding them to deliberately gain weight. It's the genetics of the testosterone. Additionally, if the animal has been neglected or abused, it's just going to be that much more agressive! However, if you are offered a piglet, you could have it castrated. Castrated males actually get sweeter than the females. This is true of sheep and goats as well. Castrated male lambs (wethers) make the nicest pets for children!

 

Faith

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Faith and Audry, I got him as a piglet and he was castrated. My male potbelly, whom died at age 14, was such a gentle sweetheart. I have 3 female potbellies, one I just love SO much because she has THE BEST personality. Her mom - sweet. My other, abused early in life, now scared of humans. All 3 show Spot, the BIG guy, THEY rule over him. He runs away. :lol: I've been having them spend time together to help Spot, who is grieving out loud. SO SAD!!!

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