Whether you have a pet pig or a farm pig, it's important to be aware of any changes in your piggy; that includes pregnancies! Here's the 411 on pregnant pigs.
Farrowing in the swine world refers to the act of giving birth, and while female pigs (called sows) can be pregnant for the first time and get their first piglet at just 5 months of age, it's best to wait until the pig is at least 8 to 10 months old.
A sow can go through the birthing process twice a year. Pregnant pigs typically produce large litters -- farrowing a large number of piglets: a pig litter can have at least 10 to 12 newborn piglets at a time.
How Long are Pigs Pregnant For?
The key to remembering the gestation period of a pregnant sow is the number three: the gestation period of a pig is three months, three weeks, and three days. While a pig's gestation length can vary from 111 to 120 days, the average pregnancy length is 114 days.
FYI: it's also important to note that even though the average gestation is 114 days for most swine, it's still not uncommon to see pigs lose their piglets before they are born, or have one or more stillborn piglets.
Of course, the gestation length of a pig can vary due to factors such as age, environment, the time of year, and breed. Whether you have a pet pig, like a potbelly pig where the gestation period is about 115 days, or if you live with a pig on a farm, keep in mind these numbers on pregnant pigs. That way, there won't be any surprises!
Some Facts on Pregnant Pigs:
• Newborns can't regulate their own body temperature and need heat lamps or heating pads to help; temperature set during their first week of life should be at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Twitching of a pregnant sow's tail is a good sign that another piglet is arriving in the next 10 seconds. So be prepared!
• While the majority of piglets are born head first, you'll see that towards the end of farrowing, more piglets will be born with their hind legs (or back legs if you prefer!) first.
• Sows are ready to be bred again around 5 to 7 days after weaning her last piglets.
• As the due date of your pregnant pig comes near, the pig's teats will begin to swell.
Have you had a pregnant pig before? Let us know on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!