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Farrowing: Are you prepared?

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Last week we talked about prepping for goat kids. This week, we are getting prepared for piglets.

Now that we are days away from having bacon seeds roaming around the farm, I think it is about time I make an educational post that will help folks learn to prepare for future piglets. Today's topics will be focused around prepping for before, during, and after farrowing. We do utilize farrowing crates for the safety of both the mama and babies. However, once the babies are old enough to be weaned and removed from heat lamps, we will have them running under the sun, digging in the soil.

What Works For Us

Everything below is what works best for our farm and being minimalistic with supplies if we can help it. There are many different circumstances, emergencies, and ways to care for animals and everyone has their own way of managing their farm. We start our gilts/sows in farrowing crates then move them over to a pen of shavings and heat lamps. This allows us to assist with any complications that may arise before letting them go into a pen to bond with the babies.


  • 2 weeks prior, deworm sows

  • Farrowing crates are clean and sanitized (we use synergize)

  • Put gilts/sows in crates a week prior to delivery

  • Clean up gilt/sow to eliminate any potential bacteria

  • Feed 4-6lbs a day, depending on climate

During Farrowing

Signs of labor beginning:

  • Presence of milk within 24 hours

  • Gilts/sows may chew on the crate, become restless

  • Attempts at nesting

Assisting Farrowing:

  • Help assist the removal of the sack/membranes

  • Reduced stillborn #'s

  • Give extra care to the runt or weaker piglets

  • Piglets can be born face or butt first.

  • Removal of mummies

  • Drying agent to dry down piglets


  • Farrowing can take from anywhere of 30 minutes to over 6 hours.

  • Intervals are roughly 15-20 minutes from each piglet but strenuous cases can take longer.


  • Administer if the cervix is fully dilated

  • try to limit the use on a gilt

  • If you don't see a piglet in 45+ minutes, administer

  • Use no more than 2 doses per sow

  • Visible distress and straining

Emergency Cases:

  • Clean vulva of any dirt and debris with soap and water

  • Have a piglet puller on hand

  • Gloves

  • Lube

  • Antibiotic for post assistance

Post Farrow


  • Sows: 65-75°F

  • Piglets: 90-95°F for the first few days then 70-80°F until weaned.

Day 3-5 Post- Farrow: Processing

  • Ear notch

  • Clip tails

  • Castrate males, iodine area (this can wait for a later date as well)

  • Inject 0.5cc Iron

  • Check for scours or other abnormalities and treat as needed

Week 3-5:

  • Weaning

  • Vaccinations

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