Teeth clipping in young pigs


Piglets are born with razor-sharp incisor teeth, which they use to compete for the best teats. Once a piglet has claimed a teat, it will be fiercely guarded.

When the sow doesn't have enough milk to feed all of her piglets, the competition for teats is fierce. This can occur if the sow has more piglets than she can care for, is ill, or eats insufficiently.

Importance of teeth clipping in young pigs

Piglets bite the sow (mother) in an attempt to suckle from one of her teats. The pain causes the sow to get agitated, leading her to rise and prevent her young from eating. Germs can also infect the sow's udder because of the cuts. Piglets will bite and harm one another in their fight to grasp the teat and suckle. These issues can be avoided by just trimming the teeth as soon as feasible after birth.

When should the teeth be clipped

Piglets bite the sow (mother) in an attempt to suckle from one of her teats. The pain causes the sow to get agitated, leading her to rise and prevent her young from eating. Germs can also infect the sow's udder because of the cuts. Piglets will bite and harm one another in their fight to grasp the teat and suckle. These issues can be avoided by just trimming the teeth as soon as feasible after birth.

Process to clip the teeth

  • If the sow is not tied up, separate her from her young and place her in another pen. Take care as the sow with a litter can be dangerous.
  • Corner the young pigs and keep them together or place them in a box.
  • Hold the head and press the corner of the piglet's mouth so that the jaws open.
  • Place the clippers on either side of one pair of teeth making sure that the tongue is not in the way.
  • Tilt the head so that the pieces of the teeth will fall out of the mouth.
  • Cut the teeth as close as possible to the gums.
  • Clean the clippers before using them on another piglet.
  • Operate on the rest of the litter and when you have finished put the piglets back with their mother immediately. Keep young piglets warm.
Equipment/info required
  • Teeth clippers/grinders
  • Surgical disinfectant
  • Dipping container
  • Marker
  • Piglet holding container
  • Waist belt/carrying device
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