Baby pigs: HELP!! bottlefeeding : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

OK, I got my first 3 pot bellied pigs today.

Unfortunately, 2 of them are only 2 weeks old. We are trying to bottle feed them, but are having trouble.

Any tips?

-- Jon Williamson (, July 10, 1999


Well, my crisis is past. The 2 babies are taking milk from an eyedropper and one is tasting soft food.

A good introduction to homestead life.......

-- Jon Williamson (, July 11, 1999.

Okay John, I'm trying to picture you transitioning from the eyedrop feedings to the butcher table. And if you have kids, having them not look at you like you just killed Wilbur(Charlotte's Web). LOL This has been my hesitation about getting a weaner pig. I know it will get bigger and theoretically not as cute, but we are such a family of animal lovers, that we all dread even killing our first chicken down the road. Anyone else out there that has struggled with this?

-- Mumsie (, July 11, 1999.


Glad to hear the piggies are eating. You might try human milk bottles, premie size....or you can get teeny bottles for kittens at vet supply stores. Let some milk drool out of the nipple hole (smells good to piggie), and bring near its mouth.....generally, pigs are vigorous nursers. Make sure the piggies have access to clean dirt (they need dirt for the minerals).

Mumsie: Butchering is not fun. It is hard work, physically and emotionally. The secret to it is this: fast and clean.

If you've given an animal a good life, plenty of food, companionship, affection.....then a fast, clean death is a blessing. Practice beforehand. Use your chicken ax until you feel very comfortable making a quick, sharp cut. Rabbits are usually dispatched with a hard thump on the head, so practice hitting HARD on stuffed toys and the like beforehand -- don't be like I was with my first butchering: I didn't want to animal to suffer, so I couldn't hit it hard. Result was a whole lot more suffering than necessary.

It has always helped me, emotionally, to talk to the animal before hand, and apologise for what I was about to do....and explain that we needed it for food. This probably has no effect on the animal (!), but it clarifies the matter for me.

Have all your tools and supplies immediately at hand, so you don't have to leave the scene and hunt up a knife or bucket (you might not go back!). Think your way through every step clearly, and then do it.

Don't agonize over it. For most animals, a quick, clean kill at the hands of a human is a lot less horrible than a slow live disembowelment by a careless predator.

If you can, don't eat your meat the same day you process it -- it will improve in texture if refrigerated or kept in a cool room for 48 hours. Plus, the sight of it and the memory won't make you feel queasy.

Finally, don't name animals you intend to eat. Or, if they must have names, make it names like "pork chop", "stew meat", "fryer". Only name the animals that you will keep for several years, your breeders. Make pets of the mamas and the papas, not the freezer-bait babies.

Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (, July 11, 1999.

Well, I've raised animals for meat before, hunted, etc. I've had to put pets down when I couldn't afford to go to the vet.

Anyway, the squealing little things aren't that cute now. They don't like to be held, they are wary of people.

They are just a convenient way to store bacon without refrigeration...

Yes, I alway feel better explaining to an animal why I need to take their life. It may sound silly, but it works for me.

I like those names!! Especially "stew meat"! They are drinking out of a bowl now and eating like, well, like pigs.

-- Jon Williamson (, July 11, 1999.

Thanks Anita,... your advice sounds very similar to what I read in "Country Women". It's encouraging to hear that it might get a "little" easier.

-- Mumsie (, July 12, 1999.

I'll add my 2 cent's worth.Too start with [I] think it's best not to let my 5 kids or my wife name the {live stock}.Or play with them like there a time went on they understanlive stock is food. And yes killing butchering up live stock is hard work.The moor help the better.breaking my city wife and kids in .was hard. [I] have found being a bit hungrey helps[. go a day or two with out eating .puts you in the mood. I use a 22cal pistol.and shoot in the head.It's fast and clean.unless you want the brain for hog head chees!(scrapil} good with egg's. Have you tryed puting a pan of milk down and see if they will slurp it up.or try puting bread in the milk and see if they will eat the sogey bread.some bread stors will give you old bread.all table scraps go to the live stock.Where I live you can put a bid in to the school to get there swill [slop] table scraps.

-- HD (, July 12, 1999.

Home Dad:

Yes, they are drinking out of a pan. Several bowls a day, in fact.

Although I'm kind of a "city boy", my wife and daughter will be most of the trouble, if there is any trouble. Fortunatly, pork is my wife's favorite type of meat.

-- Jon Williamson (, July 12, 1999.

Keep us informed of your project Jon. We are very interested in PBP thanks to all the information presented here. Checked a couple of local trade papers this week and none listed there.

Excellant advice Anita, I am so very glad we are past those days when it comes to butchering. I think with most families, the dogs and cats can expect a feast for the first few attempts at serving home produced meat. I was thinking if one knew of a neighbor or someone locally who butchered themselves, watching or getting meat to serve from them may be helpful (not to mention a learning experience for the adults).

Is it the Hindu religion that says a prayer, thanking the animal for its sacrifice before it is killed? I am not sure. Thus they must be present on the farm at that time.

I tryed in earnest to locate a local source for lambs for our doctor's family several years ago when they first moved here. Some just didn't have the heart/skills to butcher their animals themselves, and instead sent them to market, that I could appreciate. However, for most the reason was prejuidice, and no one would accomadate them. Sad. And unprofitable, they where very willing to pay for the service. At that time I didn't have enough confidence to butcher ongoing for another family. They finally located a good person for a steady meat source, but unfortunately they must drive 1 1/2 hours away.

-- Lilly (, July 12, 1999.

Glad they're working out!

The rest of this message I address in general - not to you, Jon.

To be able to kill animals for food - you may be able to buy some animals (say old poultry - perfect for coq au vin or other casserole) from a neighbour, and practice the process on them without so much emotional involvement.

When you take on animals, you take on responsibility; and that includes either killing them or having them killed properly if necessary. That even includes dairy stock - what if your cow breaks a leg, or a goat develops a tumour (been here, done that)? Anyone who has livestock and doesn't have a firearm is either a hypocrite, or the worst kind of cruel torturing monster, or just possibly totally brainless.

I'll describe a method of killing small animals I worked out which works well - quick and painless. If you can't stand considering it, then DON't have animals - you're not fitted for it (not necessarily a criticism), and it would be cruelty for the animals sooner or later.

I worked it out when I was stuck with getting rid of a heap of half- grown and semi-feral kittens, but it would work with rabbits or cavies or other small animals. Necessary in my opinion because drowning is NOT quick, and as far as I've taken it it wasn't easy either. First I cornered the animals in a locked shed. Then I took a meat cleaver.

Still with me? If you can't stand it, remember - don't have animals. There's actually no blood involved. Leather gloves, catch a catten, hold up by hind legs, slap it HARD across the back of the head with the flat of the cleaver = instant unconsciousness. Then hit it HARD across the back of the neck with the BACK of the cleaver = broken neck, paralysis, and death.

Godd luck, and clear vision.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 12, 1999.


Not bad. I used to use the old snap the neck routine on my rabbits. Tried it on a beloved old tom cat that had to be put down. Did NOT work. Bad scene all around. Your way sounds much quicker and more painless for everyone.

-- Jon Williamson (, July 12, 1999.

Right. I can stretch a rabbit's neck with the best of them, but this method is generic. Besides which, cat's are put together different. I've dealt with domestics (I love cats) and ferals (a great curse in Australia). I think cats are made out of whipcord, gristle, recycled tyres, razor blades and nine inch nails. I shot a big feral tom who was raiding our hens once - square in the rib-cage with a high- velocity hollow point .22 - killed him stone dead, but he ran 600 yards and hid in a hollow stump before he lay down.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 13, 1999.

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