Butlig's Diary:


Thursday May 28 to Friday May 29:

09.00 (PM)


09.20 (PM)
... and scratching

Checks (dead) Blackie and tries to wake her up

09.40 (PM)
Digging in sawdust and .....

09.45 (PM)
Back to bed

10.20 (PM)
Toilet and playing with us

10.45 (PM)
Eating booster pellets in milk

10.55 (PM)
Back to bed

10.00 (PM)
Got up to scratch and go to toilet


11.40 (PM)
Digging and .....

11.40 (PM)
Awake and hungry

11.50 (PM)

Playing and toilet

11.50 (PM)

01.40 (AM)

Eat, Play

02.45 (AM)
Eating -one bowl of milk with booster pellets
Then sleeping

03.30 (AM)
Get up, scratch, toilet and sleep

04.30 (AM)

04.45 (AM)

05.50 (AM)


07.30 (AM) 
Eat, play

08.25 (AM)

09.15 (AM)
Eat, Play

10.15 (AM)

10.30 (AM)


01.40 (PM)
Playing and eating (milk with booster pellets)

02.20 (PM)
Eating and toilet (wet sticky white)
Back to sleep

02.40 (PM)
Move around, scratch and back to sleep

03.20 (PM)
Wake up and go to toilet

03.35 (PM)
Eat and go to toilet (white lump -followed later by white slime)
Back to bed

04.05 (PM)
Awake but not very active

04.10 (PM)
Moving around, lying down in different places (bored -or looking for cool spot?)

04.10 (PM)
Intervention: Playing and eating
Probably rather bored and lonely

04.40 (PM)
Taking a rest after all that playing



Please note:

These are not very accurate timings (because of the practical problem of helping with feeding and noting times when extremely tired)

However, they do give a rough insight into the sleeping and eating cycle of a sick two week old piglet. Perhaps one of the biggest problems is trying to decide when to intervene -and try to encourage feeding or drinking (of what) -and when to leave the piglet to rest and recover naturally (if it is going to).


After our attempts to sustain and improve the vitality of the piglets seemed futile -and our energy levels were approaching zero -we decided to leave the outcome to nature. We decided not to hand feed piglets that seemed too weak to feed themselves. So we started the "two hour buffet system".

The two hour buffet system involved providing a simple buffet (choice of water, Gatorade, Prolyte, milk, milk with booster pellets) -and replenished every two hours, seems successful. 

But it was difficult to resist the temptation to intervene.

During the day, a mosquito net (two persons) was found to be a useful protection against flies and chickens eating the food.

The weather very hot. This may be reason for piglet's degeneration during the day and recovery at night.....



To encourage feeding from a bowl, dabble one's fingers in the bowl next to the piglet's snout. Pigs are very social creatures, competitive too -so perhaps the sound imitates another piglet snuffling in the bowl.

One can also use the fingers to bring food to the mouth and smearing it over the mouth area -so that by licking it clean the piglet will be forced to eat small amounts. This seems to encourage the piglet's appetite.

An extremely lethargic piglet, possibly dehydrated, can be encouraged to drink by dribbling liquid (Gatorade or water) over the top of its snout -so the raised edge of the snout will form a channel -which allows liquid to dribble down to the mouth. This will often revive the piglet enough for it to raise its head and drink.... Sometimes, one might need to support its head with one's hand. This method seems a lot less stressful than trying to feed liquid with a dropper.

Getting liquids into a sick piglet is probably more important than getting food -although obviously, a long time without sufficient nutrients will weaken it considerably. Indeed, sometimes we have had a piglet looking close to death -but then recover almost immediately when (bottle) fed. Possibly, at the last feeding it somehow got overlooked -or received less than normal.

Because pigs are very social animals -a single piglet will be very lonely. So we bought our lone survivor  a soft, medium sized, rubber ball to play with. Because it is soft and a bit spongy, when he sticks his snout in it -it may seem to be a bit like another piglet..... and he spends quite some time playing with it Until it goes into a tray with water that we also put there for him to play with.... However, it seems he doesn't like getting his feet wet.... So, game over, when it goes in the tray....

Earlier we gave him a stuffed toy as a companion -but he seemed to find it rather scary at first..... Now he is used to it -but doesn't really play with it.



Remaining Questions:

Why no milk from mother?

-best way to avoid problem?
-best way to treat problem?

Why diarrhea?

-best way to avoid problem?
-best way to treat problem?

How best to treat orphans and abandoned piglets or where mother does not provide milk?




Garden Diary

Project Home Farm
Project Land

Trevor Batten
 <trevor at tebatt dot net>
 Baclayon 2015