The Runt Pig its care and management


The runt of the litter can have a significant negative impact on the farms output.

Care should be practiced when considering managing these piglets

The cost of a runt pig spreadsheet to assist management


Farrow poor piglet

Picture of a weak new born piglet 750 g birthweight

Down side considerations:


If piglet is less than 800g at birth it only has a 10% chance of being sold

They will consume less colostrum than their brothers and sisters

They will have increased risk of contracting pathogens

They will act as multiplication resources for pathogens

It will have a decrease in muscle fibres particularly type 2 fibres

It will have a reduced growth potential

It will have a decreased lean potential associated with its growth curve

It will have a decreased muscle quality the muscles being firmer

They will be the last pigs out of the finishing house

They will have the poorest food conversion ration

They will be the most expensive pigs to produce


If the piglet is allowed to live through to the second day, ensure that you consider:



Collect them together and place them onto a sow with long thin nipples

Do not use gilts it is essential these animals get maximum milk antibodies and have a patient mother

Streaming the weaker pigs mark them at birth

Provide extra care in the first 3 days post-weaning

Selling them early as cutter or barbeque pigs

Do not allow them to disrupt the pig flow


Sometimes the kindest approach is euthanasia on day one so they do not consume valuable colostrum resources.