HOW TO PREVENT STOMACH & GASTRIC ISSUES
WHAT HELPS THE PIG'S STOMACH?
Movement – Stomach and gastric issues rely on natural movements of wandering & grazing. These movements are normal habits for goats, sheep, swine, horses, turkeys and poultry. Movement benefits their entire body and internal processes. When animals are not exercised or let out daily to wander, the stomach and intestinal process can be greatly affected.
Quality Feed & Eating Habits – Along with movement, feeding quality feed designed for your market pig will greatly help to prevent stomach and gastric issues. Eating habits begin with feeding on a regular schedule and taking care to adjust the feed to your growing pig.
A Quality Feed will include gastric supplements such as:
- Probiotics that are known to support normal stomach structure and functions.
- Acid Balancing ingredients such as Calcium and Magnesium to help reduce excess acid in the stomach. (These are the primary ingredients in Rolaids or Tums).
- Soothing ingredients (Aloe Vera, probiotics, and slippery elm) to help sooth irritated stomach & intestinal walls.
Before you decide on a feed, check the feed tag for these ingredients. If your feed does not have these ingredients, check the supplements that are available. Adding a supplement may be an easy fix.
WHAT PUTS YOUR ANIMAL AT RISK FOR STOMACH AND GASTRIC ISSUES?
Your market pig may be at risk for stomach and intestinal issues if the following items are not provided. Simply put, leaving your pig in a small pen for days on end will cause all sorts of issues in all categories.
Water – Lack of water or low water intake – always provide cool clean water in ample amounts. Water helps the intestine to breakdown and process food. With low water amounts, the feed becomes packed and dry in the intestines and causes “impaction” which leads to gas buildup and pain (Also known as constipation or a more severe case called colic).
Movement – lack of movement to exercise or stretch can cause intestinal distress. Provide a pen that is adequate in size and shelter for your pig. Daily, let your pig out to stretch and move around. Giving animals a chance to trot or run around works wonders on their stomach, attitude and overall wellbeing!
Exercise – Never exercise on a full stomach. If you need to work or show your pig early before a meal, feed a reduced amount to take the hunger edge off. Feed the remainder of the breakfast as a light lunch.
Fiber with Grain – A feed program high in grain and little to no fiber can cause intestinal problems for market animals.
If your market pig’s poop is runny or not considered normal, add fiber and probiotics. Most of the time, if it is just a feed issue and not an underlying health issue, the fiber and probiotics will help to “firm things” up…Literally! An easy way to figure out how much fiber to add is to feed 1-2% of the pig’s weight each day. Feeding small amounts 3-5 times per day can also help. Here are some sample calculations.
|Weight of Animal
|Lbs. Per Day
|Lbs. Per feeding
- Pigs / Swine – add oat groats or water soaked beet pulp to their grain portion. Both will add sufficient fiber and filler that helps their intestinal processes and it also increases their stomach capacity
- Time for Exercising! Daily!
- Probiotic Paste or Supplement
- Beet Pulp
- Oat Groats
If increasing your animals exercise and movements along with adding fiber & probiotics to their diet does not improve their stomach and intestinal issues within 12 hours, perform a health assessment to see if there is a health issue that needs to be corrected. Some bacteria’s and viruses can cause issues and will require antibiotics. Once you have performed a health assessment, let your advisor or vet know your findings. This information will help them to get you back on track!