Caring for Show Pigs in Cold Weather

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It’s that time of the year again for cold temperatures. This can be one of the most difficult parts of this season to keep hogs healthy. We’ve included a few tips that will allow your project to not only survive, but to thrive during this time of year.

Warmth: Obviously, our concern is being able to keep our hogs as warm as possible during these winter months. Everyone has different housing conditions for their projects, but the key to them thriving during the cold is to make sure their bedding is always dry and clean. All hogs must have access to a covered shelter of some kind with a clean place to lay. Depending on the extremity of the cold, heat lamps and bigger heaters can also be used. Believe it or not, hogs actually do very well when the temperature drops, as long as they have daily, reliable access to a warm, dry shelter to rest.

Water: The most important nutrient is water. Hogs are made or ruined this time of year depending on their access to clean, fresh water. Plain and simple, it doesn’t matter how your water system functions you MUST ensure accessibility to water is there 24/7. When hogs become dehydrated, they are more prone to sickness, lack of energy, and ultimately a slower gain and feed conversion. Regardless of the quality of your animal, if water isn’t readily available, you’re chances of their potential being reached are declining by the day.

Daily Routine: You didn’t sign up to take care of your pig when it was convenient for you. You signed up to do this to give your best effort regardless of conditions and this includes during cold weather. Always make sure that you continue your exercise regiment during cold days. Hogs get stagnant and have less energy if they aren’t allowed to get out of their pen and exercise. Hogs are like people, the better their nutrition and exercise programs are, the better they feel and energy level will be. You obviously can’t wash as often if you don’t have access to a heated wash area, but brushing and conditioning the skin during the cold days certainly aren’t out of the question.

Keep Them Healthy: Both Sure Champ and Vita Charge contain Amaferm that works to improve digestive health. Feeding Sure Champ pellets as a daily top-dress, and Vita Charge paste during high stress times, will keep your pigs eating no matter the situation.

These are just a few tips to help during these cold months. When you’re getting bundled up to go outside and do chores, just remember these months are designed to reward the people who work the hardest. Just think of the banners that are waiting to reward your efforts in the spring!

Jason Lackey

Sure Champ Show Pig Specialist

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