|shelter and pasture|
Secondly, having the separate paddock minimized the risk of other hogs unknowingly squishing piglets in the shelter (even at 1.5 years old, our gilts still love to snuggle, its quite charming, but in this scenario it could pose some negative side effects). While this is often a major cause of piglet mortality, we are comforted by the fact that our hogs are rather strong animals, what with their romping around pasture all day, and are thus much less likely to collapse into a sedentary position in the way that an over-fed, under-exercised hog would...another plus to the pasture method! So we have minimized the risk of a roll-over by keeping the other two gilts out of the paddock altogether (they have their own sweet paddock to graze in), and aren’t too worried by the remaining risk of the Mama rolling over, as she is more capable than most of controlling her weight. With these precautions and a sound shelter, we’re overjoyed to say that we have a 100% piglet survival rate!