pig farrowing

Asked December 21, 2012, 9:55 PM EST

I just had a gilt give birth to 15 premature piglets born approximately on the 95th day. They were all stillborn. This was her first pregnancy. We AI'd her. What would cause her to not carry them full term? I am so sad and confused. Do you think the semen could have been bad? She seems so healthy. We have battled having an infestation of starlings in our barn. We have challenges keeping her water free of starling droppings. Could this have caused her to come into labor prematurely? She is a Yorkshire, 2 years old. She may be a little heavy but seems so healthy. Her mother had litters up to 21 piglets. Could you please shed some light on this unfortunate situation? We would like to breed her again soon.

Deschutes County Oregon

1 Response

The starlings could very likely have transmitted disease to your sow causing her to abort. Pigs are very susceptible to disease so it is important to keep all rodents, birds, cats, etc. out of the barn with the pigs. I think it would be very worthwhile for you to have a vet draw blood and test to make sure she isn't caring PRRS or another serious disease. The vet can also tell you if she needs treated for anything before breeding again.