Farrowing Piglets


In normal farrowings total born made up from live, dead and mummified piglets

Live piglets

Stillborn piglets

Mummified piglets

But if a piglet is not born within 30 minutes manual assistance may be required.

Consider oxytocin 5 iu/im first and wait 15 minutes. If still no piglet- investigate

Dystocia in the pig may be associated with uterine inertia, obstruction in the birth canal, simultaneous presentation of two fetuses, abnormality of the pelvis, oversized foetus (>2 kg). Calcium deficiency is rare. Uterine inertia more commonly associated with unfit sows. Note outdoor sows very rarely require manual assistance, whereas some stockpeople feel it necessary to assist 80% of indoor sows to reduce stillbirths

Normal presentations

The piglet may present head or rear first and be born normally. Little effort is should be required to remove either of these presentations.


Presentations that may require assistance

Occasionally the hind legs will be forward and the forelegs back. Assess the situation and by manipulation bring the forelegs forward and if possible move the rear legs backwards. Place a head rope and leg ropes and farrow the piglet

This unusual presentation can often be farrowed without complication. If possible rotate the piglet, pressing on the eye of a live piglet will generally make it turn.


This presentation is not uncommon. Push the forward piglet backwards and realign the forward piglet and farrow.

Abnormalities may present a difficult challenge Siamese for example.

Be very careful about pulling on the lower jaw of the piglet, as fracture of the jaw is likely.


If the piglet is overlarge or difficult to remove, a head rope applied around positioned behind the ears and into the mouth, together with two leg ropes will greatly assist the piglet to be farrowed.

Do not over try. If there is no piglet present within the vagina it is better to administer oxytocin 5 iu/im and wait 15 minutes and examine again.


Once a piglet is born, its care is only just beginning

Ensure it can breath easily

Weak piglets may need help to get colostrum

End of farrowing


The presentation of a mass of placenta indicates the end of parturition. Normally within 4 hours of the last piglet.