Pot Bellied Pig Pregnancy
This page is for those of you who end up with a female that is already pregnant and aren't sure what to do.
Pigs4Ever does not in any way shape or form endorse or recommend that you start breeding. This is for informational purposes only.
The gestation period for a female potbellied pig is 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days or 112 to 115 days. You will know your pig is pregnant if she does not come back into estrus/heat at her normal time. If you are not sure how far along your pig is you may want to have the vet perform an ultrasound.
As she gets closer to having the babies her belly will get bigger and her teats may drag the ground. This is fine as it will toughen them up. You see, piglets have very sharp teeth. At about 4-5 days before birth, her vulva will begin to swell. You will also see a milk line form along the teats and she will start getting restless and nesting. If there are other pigs or animals around you will want to move her into her own pen and have a farrowing box ready for the piglets.
The size of a litter can very in potbellied pigs. There is no set number of piglets. The number of piglets can be anywhere from 1 -12.
Here is a list of things you will want to have on hand:
- Goat's milk (just in case there is a piglet that has to be hand fed. Fresh is best, but canned will do.)
- Polyvisor baby vitamin with iron (1 drop on tongue when they are born as all pigs are born iron deficient.)
- Rubber gloves in case you have to deliver one that gets stuck (usually they don't)
- KY Jelly, Rags, Scissors (sharp for cutting only the extra long cords)
- Alcohol Iodine (dip the cords in them immediately at birth to stave off infection from dirt getting up the cord)
- Med Cup (good to put iodine in and then tip on cord)
It is best to let nature take it's course and some mother's prefer to be alone. If she knows you are watching this can hamper things. If you happen to catch her having them pull up a chair and just watch. Nature pretty much takes care of everything. You are there just in case something out of the ordinary happens. The babies hit the ground running.
Make sure there is room in her pen for you to move around in. You should also have a small board that you can place between you and her if you need to. Don't put down to much hay or bedding as the babies will bury in it and she won't see them and lay on them. You can also use small pieces of a blanket or towel. Anything too large and the babies can get caught or hung up in them.
Once she passes the afterbirth immediately return all babies to her so they can nurse and get the colostrum they need.
Pigs don't always make the best mothers during birthing. They don't lick them clean, but will lay on them while having another. This is what you have to watch for. She will also bite the crap out of you if she can to protect her babies. This is why you have the farrowing box.
Make sure you have a heat light on over the "creep" area of the box and that it is secure and can't be knocked into the box or hay. It should be high enough so that if you lay a thermometer on the hay, it should read about 80-90 degrees. Keep it on round the clock for at least 10 days. The piglets cannot make their own body heat during this time and this is the reason for the heat lamp. You also want to make sure that there are no drafts.
Also remember they only want one teat and will fight for it. Watch that the runts eat at least four minutes. You will hear mama grunting low sounds pushing the milk down. When she quits, the milk is gone until the next feeding in 2 hours. Sometimes runts won't fight to nurse and at that point you have to supplement or hand feed all together.
The information presented within our information and resources section has been collected from what we consider experts and various reputable persons including vets, sanctuary owners, and private pig owners among othsrs. Information shown is the latest available. Although we have had pet pigs for 20 years and consider ourselves quite knowledgeable, we are by no means veterinarians. Any health related information presented below should be checked out with your personal veterinarian.