Why must I wait for the piggy to be 8 weeks old before I can have it?
Here is another question I get several times a month, so I will try and explain it.
Why do I have to wait 8 weeks before I get my piggy? Would you like to stress out a piggy? Is it possible to stress out a piggy. Most definitely YES!!! How? Good question; first and foremost the easiest way to stress and even kill a piggy(or any other newborn animal) is to sell one before it is 8 weeks old. I have so many people requesting piglets at the age of 1-2 weeks old. Why? Because they want to have the piglets bond to them as much as they can. Taking a piggy away from mommy at that age is just about guaranteeing a death sentence.
So now you are wondering what’s with the 8 week rule I constantly hear from breeders of various animals. Well you see, it is very important that babies of all different species get all the immunity protection from their mommy.
There is a substance called colostrum that mother’s produce immediately prior to birth. Colostrum (aka first milk) is super, rich milk full of antibiotics, extremely high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and is a concentrated source of biologically active components. It is usually only produced for the first 1-3 days, depending on the mother’s health/nutritional status. It is IMPERATIVE that the piggy get plenty colostrum in the first hours and days of its life.
A newborn piglet has minimal nutritional reserves and very little body fat. If it skips a meal, yes even a single meal, that in itself can start an irreversible decline in its health; even to the point of death. So as a breeder it is very important to make sure all babies are regularly feeding when the other siblings are.
Believe it or not colostrum and mommy’s milk have components that are either identical or similar regardless of the species of the animal. That explains why you can buy a mother’s replacement milk that covers multiple species.
So once the piglets are weaned from mommy, sometimes mommy will wean them herself; it is important that a breeder has been giving the babies the opportunity to eat solid food. This way of feeding baby piglets is known as creep feed. This is when they start to realize that those little pellets are a source of food.
It takes a piglet’s digestive system approximately 3 weeks to convert from digesting milk to digesting grain. That is where Mazuri Mini Pig Youth comes into play. This feed contains dried whey which incorporates milk proteins to assist in transitioning piglets from mommy’s milk to grain. http://www.mazuri.com/mazuriminipigyouth.aspx
The transition of weaning the piglets from mommy is extremely stressful. One must make the transition as smooth as possible especially making sure they are eating solid food and drinking water, also keeping the siblings together will help comfort each other.
So please be patient and understand you must wait for the piggy to be 8 weeks old in order for it to have the best chance of a long, healthy life.