Pigs life cycle from Lust Love and Death

Your understanding about your pig’s life cycle is crucial to your hog raising business.
What to expect as they grow and how to provide their needs are important to prevent you from suffering on loss of money.

Pigs cannot talk, but you can rely of course on the behavior they show, so that you will have an idea of what is happening to them, how  you can prevent it from happening.

And one of the basic tool we could use is by their age.

Their maturity, the time when they have to be mated, right time when their kids have to leave them and start their own life and when new generation of mothers and boars have to replace and take the responsibility of contributing in increasing the population of your farm.

Knowing your pig’s life cycle is also important in coming up figures related to your feasibility study in terms of capital requirement, cost and return analysis and for proper allocation of their shared rooms, pens or stalls

The heat is on…nanana..nana (Breeding/estrous cycle)

Pig's life cycle from lust love and death
Photo credit: Sulka Haro

Do you know that song?! Is it playing on your head?

stop it! lets focus!

21 day heat cycle

Number of days your female pigs starts to feel horny or what they call heat, but varies from 17 to 25 days before it begins to feel wanting a lover again (heat). And this is the time to monitor if after breeding (mating or A.I.) she is pregnant or not because you have to wait and repeat the breeding again.

How to Tell if She is Burning

  • sow gilts will allow themselves to be mounted (the standing heat)
  • tail may move closer to vulva
  • sows become restless and give characteristic grunt high picth
  • climbs wall

Let’s start with the virgin pig (gilt)

  • Gilt should be at least 7months old and weighs 130 kg or above before breeding (the advantage of an older age is by the number of eggs than can be ovulated).
  • gilts are not so predictable and must be checked for heat daily until a standing heat is determined.
  • bred after 12 hours of detecting a standing heat.

Female pigs with experience (sow)

  • horny again as quickly as 3 days after weaning from her babies but varies from 4-7 days after separating her from her kids.
  • bred after 18-24 hours of detecting a standing heat.

Breeding is the start of the pig’s life cycle not like the old days that, most of the trusted practice is using the natural way of breeding wherein Boars are brought to the gilts that are  believed ready for mating. But now more and more pig farmers are converting to artificial insemination or the process of getting female pigs pregnant by injecting the boars love juice (sperm).


And once the love juice of the boar is successfully implanted and you have an expecting excited mother she will go to the next stage of the cycle.

Mom I am Pregnant!(Gestating stage)

114 days

The expecting mother (gilt or sow) will have to stay on a gestation crate. Though this is the typical days it may also again varies to 111-115 days.

3months,3 weeks, and 3 days or the fastest way to remember it is I love you 3x a day!

Pig's life cycle from lust love and death
Photo credit: John O’Shea

So when counting on the days when your pig will deliver her babies, just remember I LOVE YOU 3x a day!

Do you know that movie?! Classic Jimmy Santos Film. 🙂

Gilts are now called sows after they deliver their first pregnancy.

Checklist Before Transferring the Pregnant Mother pig

  • Deworming
  • Delivery room (farrowing crate) should be clean and left vacant for 3-7 days
  • 7 days before delivering her babies gilt/sow must be transferred to her farrowing crate (her delivery room).
  • Wash the boobs (teats) and the belly with mild soap and warm water to prevent infecting her kids when giving milk.

Is it a boy or a girl?! (Farrowing stage)

The length of stay in the farrowing section will rely on your weaning days.

21-35 days weaning age of piglets.

The mother’s ability to produce milk is in its maximum at 21 days and continuously going up to 5 weeks.

So when do you think she is about to go?

Signs that she is about to give birth

  • within 24 hours when her boobs starts to produce or having signs of milk indicates that she is starting to feel her babies ready to go out.
  • restlessness, trying to escape the crate
  • Urinate frequently

Pig laboring can take 30 minutes to 5 hours. And a possible interval time averaging to 15 minutes

Call the Doctor

Death and loss of the piglets maybe prevented if someone will be there to assist her while she is on labor. Make sure that you know what to do or your personnel does have a proper training because you have to assist her when necessary.

Can you hear it?

Success! There’s your money!

they are all out….

But keeping them alive for the rest of their stay in your farm is another story.

  • After delivery put her babies near the sow so that they could start getting the first important meal
  • Provide a heat lamp for the piglets

After you separate your piglets from their mother and transferred them to the nursery section, the sow will now start to feel the heat again and will go back to the start of the cycle which is the breeding.

First day of school (Nursery/weaning stage)

30 days

Lets say you separate your piglets on their 30th day  from their mother.

and will stay here up to 60 days before transferring to growing up stage

Do you remember the first time you were brought to nursery or day care center? maybe there are those who were excited to meet other kids, but there are also kids who wanted to be with their mother all the time ,and cry if they are left.

is there anybody been through this before?

This stage is the one of the most critical stage due to stress related factors that brought upon your piglets.

  • new environment
  • being away with their mother
  • new piglets they have to share the room with
  • change of diet

That is why Especial attention and care must be given to this new kids in the block.

Growing Up (Grower-finishing stage)

120 days

After leaving nursery on their 60th day now they have to stay here up to 180 days, but again it will depend upon your goal if you want them to be super heavy or just enough, maybe weighing 90-100 kg.

You can choose to let them stay here up to their graduation day,especially when you don’t have that big population.

Graduation Day (Market Time) yehey!

This is the point where parent like you, is very happy. Is it because your kids are finishing from school and they are about to reach their DREAMS?


But it is also the time you are finish with the expenses on their schooling isn’t it right?

No I am just kidding!

But to your pigs this is where they leave you, be proud because you are successful in keeping them alive all those months of cleaning, giving them a shower, and providing good and nutritious food.
and the most important of all it is time to give it back to you. and you have to do it all over again.

Pigs life cycle from lust love and death

Pigs life cycle started from breeding and they are one of the lustful animal and also polygamous.

One Boar is enough to give those 20 in heat female pigs pregnant. their orgasm can lasts up to 30 minutes.
And Imagine the sows right after 40 days they are again ready for another battle.

But that is not a bad thing at all because that makes this Hog raising so profitable.

Loveof the mother to her kids is given,its automatic and will never go away.
and the love of pigs to eat is essential for them to grow fast and heavy.

Their death will not go to waste, because for sure someone will live another day because of the meat they produce.

But If you’re a vegetarian, I understand if you told that there are other sources we could eat. But also understand that there are a lot of people who loves PORK!


Pig's life cycle from lust love and death
Photo credit: aJ Gazmen

Easy!! I know it looks tasty and crunchy! especially the skin (putok Batok) 🙂
But it is for your eyes only! sorry 🙂

So to sum it up

Breeding 21 day heat cycle. is the time you help and in return helping your business as well to produce pigs, the rest of the cycle is you protecting and saving them up to graduation day! so do your best!

Mom I am Pregnant(Gestation stage), 114 days .I love you 3x a day. 3-3-3 (3 months,3 weeks, 3 days)

Is it a boy or a girl (Farrowing stage), 35 days

First day of school(nursery/weaning stage) , Age 30

Growing up (grower-finishing stage),120 days

<spanGraduation day ( The day you have been waiting), Selling Time!

This is the pigs life cycle, having this figure will help you complete your housing space requirements in computing your pens required in your pig farm computing the days they would stay or occupy a certain stage.

By knowing the number of days you would expect a pig to go to the breeding or gestation stage you could calculate the capital or investment needed to provide food medicines at the same time helping you in completing your feasibility study.


pig production technology for piggery farmer
National agricultural extension and Research Liason Services
Ahmadu Bello University
bbc.com the truth about pigs
porkgateway.org/sow during farrowing and lactation

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