Nicaragua: La Bastilla - It´s a pig´s life...What to do when your pig has given birth?

This is a question that the students of La Bastilla Agricultural Technical High School are facing about once a month – the school is currently trying to consolidate their pig business, and the recent birth of 9 piglets gives us the perfect opportunity to enlighten our readers:

Prof. Neysi Rodriguez, the responsible for the business is showing the students the following steps (in the photos you will see student Oney helping – by the end of his 2nd year he has already gone through all of the steps during various births)


 A pig´s pregnancy lasts approximately 120 days, after which the sow usually gives birth to 9 to 14 piglets (unfortunately they only have 12 nipples, so it is a very good result if after 2 weeks there are 9 piglets left).

The newborns are very sensitive to the cold and risk being quashed by the mother, so the first few nights they get 24hrs surveillance.

When they are only a few days old their fangs get shortened, so that their mother doesn´t have to endure too much pain when the piglets feed. In order to make them more resistant the piglets also have their first meeting with a syringe: a shot of iron is administered.


With continuing almost constant surveillance they will already be happily running around, when, at about the age of 7 days the tails will be clipped off. “This happens so they don´t bite each other and risk inflammation.” tells us Oney. Such microsurgeries are nothing for people with sensitive hearing – as small as the piglets look, they can squeal in an impressive volume (and generally, when one starts all the others will join in).


Finally, at the age of about 14 days, the male piglets are castrated. In a pig business that sells pigs for meat, this step is indispensable because the hormones of the boar give the meat a very strong, almost inedible taste.


For about 2 more weeks the piglets
will be able to enjoy the sow´s milk, before,
at the age of about 30 to 40 days, they will be weaned off the milk.





This is also the time when they will be offered for sale – and our students can show their talents by selling them at a profitable yet fair rate.

So, now you know the most important steps of pig breeding. We will try our best to give you a step-by-step guide on how to start off your chicken farm next month – we are awaiting the delivery of 1´500 new chicklets that need a lot of care too.

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