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SWINE AND THEIR DISEASES.
Abortion ....... .... 251
Bleeding ........... 253
Catarrh ........... 253
Castration ........ .. 252
Colors. ••••..••... 251
Cracklings ........ .. 254
Carriage ...••••.••. 251
Cholera ....••••.•• 253
Characteristics ......... 251
Catching the Pig •••... ..253
Choosing .••••••••.. 251
Diarrhea .......... . • 254
Drenching .......... 253
Feeding and Fattening ...... 252
Foul Skin ... . ..... . 254
Inflammation of the Lungs..... 254
Kinds of ......... . . 251
Leprosy ........... 254
Lethargy •••••.... • . 254
Mange ............ 254
Measles ...... . . . • . 254
Murrain ........... 254
Parturition .......... 251
Piggeries ........... 252
Pickling and Curing ••••••• 253
Quinsy ........... .255
Swelling of the Spleen...... 255
Treatment during Pregnancy .... 251
Treatment while Suckling ..... 251
Treatment of Young Pigs ...... 252
To Cut up the Carcass ...... 253
Value of the Carcass....... 253
Weaning......., • • . 252
Name is not the first essential in choosing a good I
hog, but look first to points. One point to think
of is, whether the hog will mature early, and has
the faculty of taking on flesh. The Berkshire, with
perhaps a dash of Chinese and Neapolitan, ap
proaches nearer to the desired standard than any
other. The most desirable points which are to be
sought for in choosing a hog are as follows :
Depth of carcass and sufficient length of body to
insure lateral expansion. Breadth of loin and
breast; the former to give good play for the lungs
and thereby to insure a healthy circulation. The
bones should be small and the joints fine, and the
legs no longer when the animal is fatted, than
would just keep the body from touching the ground.
The shape of the head is of little consequence.
The carriage of the pig is also of importance, for
if it is heavy and dejected it is liable to denote ill
health, or some internal disorder. Exceptions to
this are a fat hog for slaughter, and a sow heavy
The colors which are most desirable are those
which characterize the most highly thought of
breeds. Black is desirable, being the Neapolitan
color. White shows a connection with the Chinese.
Light, sandy, or red with black marks denotes the
Treatment During Pregnancy.—The feeding must
be well looked after to insure the sows having whole
some food to maintain their strength, but do not
allow them to get too fat, as when in that condition
the dangers of parturition are enhanced, and the
sow is liable to smother her young, and never has
as much or as good milk. She must have a sepa
rate sty, clean and comfortable, covered with straw.
As her time approaches she must be well fed, es
pecially if she is young, to prevent her from eating
the afterbirth, which produces a morbid appetite
and may lead to her eating her young. If once she
does this she can never be cured.
Abortion.—This is not common; and if it occurs,
is produced from lack of food, eating too much,
blows, or rubbing herself against hard bodies. The
symptoms of this are similar to parturition, but more
intense, consisting of restlessness, shivering and ir
ritation, cries as of an animal in severe labor pains.
At times the rectum, vagina or uterus relaxing, pro
trudes and becomes inverted at the time of the
expulsion of the fetus, being preceded by the pla
centa. If the symptoms are as far advanced as this,
it is too late for any help, and the treatment de
pends upon circumstances. If abortion takes place
and the whole litter is not born, emollient injections
may be given ; otherwise the treatment should be
the same as in parturition, and the sow must be kept
quiet, warm and clean. When abortion takes place
the fetus is seldom born alive, and frequently has
been dead for some days, its presence being de
tected by a very unpleasant putrid exhalation and
the discharge of fetid liquid from the vagina. These
parts should be washed with a diluted solution of
chloride of lime. In the preparation, one part of
chloride of lime is used to three parts of water, and
a part of this liquid injected into the uterus.
Parturition.—The usual period of gestation is
about three months, three weeks and three days,
and the sow produces from eight to thirteen in a
litter. Ten is the largest number which will live to
advantage. The approach of the time of farrowing
is shown by the enormous size of the belly, by a
depression of the back and by the teats becoming
distended. The animal shows symptoms of suffer
ing, and gathering together straw carries it to her
sty, which should be separated from the rest. The
young litter must be taken away as soon as they
are born and put in a warm place, or the sow may
smother them ; and they should not be returned to
her until the afterbirth has been removed, which
should be done as soon as it comes away, or the
young pigs may devour it; and if this happens,
being all wet with a similar fluid, they may devour
each other. Occasionally there are cases of false
presentations or of the womb becoming protruded
and inverted. If the latter occurs, the womb must
be washed in warm water and put back in place.
Treatment while Suckling.—There must be great
252 THE FRIEND OF ALL
care taken at this time, as many sows have been
ruined. If the mother is inclined to be feverish
she should be given a light, sparing diet of gruel,
oatmeal porridge, etc.; and if debilitated, she should
be given strong soup, bread steeped in wine or
mixed with brandy and sweet spirits of niter. The
food must be greatly increased in amount, and
should consist of all kinds of roots well boiled, and
different kinds of meals. For the first ten days
young pigs must be kept by themselves, then allowed
to follow the sow. If the sow is not strong, and has
not much milk, the young pigs must be taught to
feed early. Gruel may be given made of skim-milk
and bran or oatmeal; potatoes boiled and mashed
in milk. When the pigs are to be weaned the sow
must be fed less.
Treatment of Young Pigs.—For the first ten days
the sow is usually able to support a litter without
help, unless she has too many. At the end of that
time the litter should be fed with warm milk. In
a week farina may be added, and later on roots and
vegetables. When the little pigs begin to run they
should have a place fenced in, and their own trough.
Castration.—Pigs are usually castrated with the
idea of fattening them ; but although it may do so, it
usually diminishes their spirits and possibly changes
This operation must be performed in the spring
or autumn when the animal is in perfect health.
The age at which this is done is from three weeks
to four months old. If the pig is not more than six
weeks old there is a cut made in the scrotum, the
testicle is pushed out and the cord is cut; but if the
animal is older, to prevent hemorrhage, it is better to
bind a ligature slightly above the place where the
incision is made. Another way of doing this is to
cut off a part of the base of the scrotum, forcing out
the testicle, and saw the cord through with a blunt
instrument. If the animal should be two or three
years old he must be held down while the operator
takes the scrotum in his left hand and makes one
horizontal incision across it, opening both divisions
of the bag at once. With the fingers, press out the
testicles with a blunt knife, without bruising, then
close the wound by pressing the edges together.
The cord may be twisted and then gently pulled,
until it comes away.
Spaying.—This consists in removing the ova
ries, sometimes also a part of the uterus, of the
female. The sow is laid upon her left side and
an incision made in the flank, and then with the
forefinger of the right hand catch the right ovary,
draw it through the opening and put a ligature
around it, doing the same with the left ovary. The
two ovaries must then be cut and the wound closed
with two or three stitches.
The diet must be well looked after and the sty
well littered with clean straw. The best age for this
operation is about six weeks.
Weaning.—Some wean a pig a few horns after
birth, but it is better to wait until it is about six
weeks old and then done gradually. The sty must
be warm, clean and dry, and the pigs should have
the run of a meadow for a few hours every day to
prevent them becoming crooked in the legs. When
pigs are newly weaned they require five or six meals
in the twenty-four hours, and plenty of cold water.
Ringing.—This is to prevent swine from digging up
the earth. A ring is passed through the snout bone,
and thus the animal is prevented from burrowing.
Feeding and Fattening.—Roots and fruits are
natural for the hog to eat, but it is better for the
quality of his flesh and his health to give him the
refuse from the dairy farm, with skim-milk.
Pigs are usually fattened for pork, at from six to
nine months old ; bacon, from one year to two years.
The residue of breweries and distilleries is good for
producing flesh, but do not give too large a quan
tity. Acorns and other nuts are very greedily eaten
by them ; but grain is the most nutritious and fitting
food for fattening, creating firmness and delicacy of
flesh. Washing with soap and brush every week
adds to the good condition of the hog. It is a very
good plan to give swine a fine clover pasture to run
in, in the spring and summer, also to allow them to
run in the orchard to pick up the fruit which falls.
The wash of the dairy, to which is added meal, and
soured in tubs, is another good food for hogs. Po
tatoes are the best of all roots for swine ; next,
parsnips, red-carrots, sugar-beets, mangel-wurzel,
rutabagas and white turnips. There are a few rules
which must be observed :
1. Avoid foul feeding.
2. Add salt in moderate quantities to the food
3. Feed regularly.
4. Clean the trough before feeding.
5. Never overfeed.
6. Vary the food.
7. Feed the animals separately: sows with young
by themselves, store hogs by themselves, and bacon
hogs and porkers also by themselves.
8. Keep the animals clean, warm and dry.
Piggeries.—Above all things a piggery must be
clean, airy, large with well-constructed sties. The
different classes of swine must be kept by them
selves, such as the boars, breeding sows, newly
weaned and fattening pigs. The buildings should
face the south and be well drained, with good venti
lation. Wood is very good building material. The
door of the sty should be made to open either inward
or outward, and should be hung across from side to
side. The troughs should be of stone so that they
can be cleaned, and cannot be gnawed by the ani
mals, and so arranged that the pigs do not have
access to them between feeding times. A pig
should have three places, — one for sleeping, one for
I eating, and one for evacuation, the last occupying
the lowest level. Fresh water should be kept con
tinually before them and renewed twice daily. Give
them as much charcoal twice a week as they will
eat, if they are confined in small quarters.
Slaughtering.—When a pig is to be killed he
should be kept without food for sixteen hours, and
given a little water. First he must be stunned by
a blow on the head, then stuck through the brisket
in the direction of his heart, and the blood be al-
lowed to drain completely. Next fill a large tub
with boiling water and plunge the carcass into it,
and remove the hair with the edge of a knife. It is
not necessary to scald him while he is yet alive, but
let it be done before the body is wholly cold.
Bacon hogs must be singed by covering the body
with straw and setting it on fire, then scraping the
body all over, taking care not to burn or parch the
cuticle. Next remove the entrails. Wash the in
terior of the body, very cleanly with warm water to
remove all blood and impurities. Wipe dry with a
clean cloth ; after this, the carcass should be hung
up in a cool place for about twenty hours to set and
To Cut up the Carcass.—Lay it on the back, cut
off the head close behind the ears ; the hinder feet
below the houghs, so as not to disfigure the hams ;
then cut the ham from the side by the second joint
of the backbone.
Dress the ham by paring off the skinny part,
shaping it with a half-round point, clearing off all
the fat. Then cut off the sharp edge along the
backbone, and slice off the first rib next to the
shoulder, taking care to cut off the bloody vein,
which, if left in, spoils the meat.
Pickling and Curing.—The ordinary method of
curing is to pack the pork in clean salt, adding
brine when the barrel is full, but it may be done by
rubbing salt thoroughly on each side of every piece
with a strong leather rubber firmly fixed to the palm
of the right hand. Throw the pieces into a heap
and sprinkle with salt, occasionally turning until
cured. Pack in dry casks and roll so that the salt
may come in contact with every part.
Hams and shoulders can be cured in the same
way. The following recipe is a good pickle for two
hundred pounds :
Fourteen pounds Turks’ Highland salt, ½ lb.
saltpeter, 2 qts. molasses, with sufficient water to
dissolve them. Cook the liquor to the scalding
point and skim off all impurities. When cold pour
upon the ham.
The hams may stay in this pickle for six or eight
weeks, then hang in the smoke-house and smoke
from ten to twenty days according to the quantity
of smoke. This is a good place to keep hams until
wanted, but if removed they must be kept cool and
free from flies.
Value of the Carcass.—Every part of the hog is
valuable. The fat may be used for lard, it being
better than butter for frying fish, and is used in
pastry for the sake of economy. The stearine con
tains stearic acid, which, when separated, is used
for wax candles. The stearine also contains oleine,
which is known as lard oil and used for machinery
The bones are used for manure or converted into
animal charcoal. If lard is to be obtained the ani
mal is skinned, and the adhering fat scraped off.
The bristles are used by painters and artists, and
for domestic uses. The skin when tanned is tough
and used for making pocket-books, and the seats
of riding saddles.
Diseases and their Remedies.—-Pigs are by na
ture very obstinate, and it is very difficult to force
them to take medicine ; hence it is more easy to pre
vent than to cure disease. Cleanliness and warmth
are the great essentials in caring for swine.
Catching the Pig.—Swine are very difficult to
handle when sick, kicking, screaming and biting.
So this method is given for getting hold of them :
Fasten a double cord to the end of a stick, and
beneath the stick let there be a running noose in
the cord ; tie a piece of bread to the cord and pre
sent it to the animal, and when he opens his mouth
to seize the bread catch the upper jaw in the noose,
run it tight and the animal is fast. In thus catching
the pig against his will, be sure that he does not in
Bleeding.—If it becomes necessary to bleed the
pig the best places to do so are the veins on the
interior side of the ear, the palate veins running on
either side of the mouth, and the brachial vein of
the fore leg. A small penknife may be used in all
of these instances.
Drenching.—It is best to mix the medicine with
the food. If this cannot be done let one man hold
the pig‘s head between his knees while another
holds the hinder part, then take hold of the head
from above, raise it a little and incline slightly to
the right, at the same time spread open the lips on
the left side so as to form a hole into which the fluid
may be gradually poured.
Catarrh.—This disease is an inflammation of
the mucous membrane of the nose, and may be cured
by opening medicines, followed by warm bran wash,
a warm, dry sty and abstinence from rich grains
or stimulating farinaceous foods. Guard agains
Cholera.—Remedies have almost no effect on
this disease, therefore prevention is the only thing
of use. The symptoms are as follows :
The animal appears to be deprived of all energy,
loss of appetite, lying down by himself, occasion
ally moving about slowly as though uncomfortable
internally, eyes have a dull appearance which in
creases, evacuation almost continuously of a dark
color having a fetid odor, extremities cold, abdomen
sensitive to pressure, pulse is quickened rather per-
254 THE FRIEND OF ALL
ceptibly, the tongue is furred, evacuation contin
ues until animal expires, which may be in twelve
hours or in several days. As a preventive the fol
lowing may be found valuable:
Flower of sulphur, 6 lbs.; animal charcoal, 1 lb.;
sulphate of iron, 6 oz.; cinchona pulverized, 1 lb.;
mix well, and give a teaspoonful mixed with a few
potato parings and corn meal, three times a day,
keeping the animal in a clean, dry place with not
many around him.
Cracklings.—Will sometimes appear on the skin
of a hog about the roots of the ear, the tail, and at
the flanks. Anoint the cracked parts two or three
times a day with tar and lard well melted.
Diarrhea.—In the early stages a more binding
diet, as corn flour, etc, will suffice ; but if acidity is
present give some chalk or powdered egg-shells
with about half a dram of powdered rhubarb in
Fever.—Symptoms of this are redness of the
eyes, dryness and heat of nostrils, lips and skin.
Appetite poor and usually with a strong thirst.
Bleed as soon as possible and keep the animal well
housed. Bread steeped in broth is a good kind of
food. Do not let the animal eat too much, and if
the bowels are confined give castor and linseed oil
in equal quantities added to the bread and broth in
the proportion of two to six ounces. The causes
are usually bad sties and bad food, also lying in the
dung-heap, or on muddy ground. When the ani
mal is thus sick he should be taken apart from the
others and placed in a warm spot. Put a stimulat
ing ointment on his chest and administer sorrel.
When the symptoms become violent it is best to
kill the animal.
Foul Skin.—This will usually yield to a wash of
the animal with a solution of chloride of lime.
Inflammation of the Lungs.—This is a disease
which it is difficult to cure. It is caused by damp
lodging, foul air and bad food. If the lungs be
come affected the disease may be communicated by
means of the atmosphere. The following may be
Shave the hair away from the chest and behind
each fore leg; wet the parts with spirits of turpentine,
and set on fire, having the animal well secured, with
its head raised, and a flannel cloth at hand to ex
tinguish the flame after it has burned long enough
to produce slight blisters.
Jaundice.—The symptoms of this disease are
yellowness of the whites of the eyes, a similar hue
extending to the lips, and sometimes swelling of
the under part of the jaw. Bleed freely; diminish
the quantity of food, and give an active aperient
every second day. Aloes combined with colocynth
is perhaps the best aperient.
Leprosy.—This begins with a small tumor in the
eye, followed by a general depression of the spirits ;
languor follows, the animal refuses food, and rapidly
falls away in flesh. Blisters beneath the tongue
appear and frequently cover the whole body. The
causes of this are uncleanness, want of fresh air and
foul feeding. Therefore the first thing to do is to
clean out the sty; wash the animal thoroughly with
soap and water to which soda has been added.
Give him a clean bed, keep him dry and comfort
able, let him have exercise and fresh air. Limit
the quantity of his food, give bran with wash.
Lethargy.—Symptoms : Stupor, desire to sleep,
hanging of the head and redness of the eyes. Is
generally caused from the hogs having too large a
supply of blood.
Treatment.—Bleed copiously, then give an emetic,
reduce the animal's food; after this give a small
portion of niter and sulphur in each morning's
Mange.—The symptoms are well known, con
sisting of scabs and blotches, and if unchecked
spread rapidly over the whole body. The cause is
usually dirt; and being extremely contagious, such
a pig must be at once isolated.
Treatment.—Place the pig in a clean, dry sty
with plenty of fresh air and fresh straw, reduce his
food in quantity and quality and give boiled or
steamed roots with buttermilk. Keep him without
food for five or six hours, then give two ounces
Epsom salts in warm bran wash. Give after every
meal, one teaspoonful of flower of sulphur, and as
much niter as will cover a dime. If in fourteen
days a cure is not effected give the following: Train
oil, 1 pt.; oil of tar, 2 dr.; spirits of turpentine, 2
dr.; naphtha, 1 dr.; with as much flower of sulphur
as will form the foregoing into a thick paste. Rub
the animal thoroughly with this mixture, and keep
him dry and warm, allowing it to remain on his
skin for three days. On the fourth day wash him
with soft soap and add a small quantity of soda to
the water. Dry him and change his bedding, con
tinuing the sulphur and niter. When he is recov
ering, wash the sty, fumigate it by putting a little
chloride of lime in a cup and pouring a small quan
tity of vitriol upon it.
Measles.—The symptoms are redness of the
eyes, foulness of the skin, prostration of the spirits,
loss of appetite, and pustules around the throat and
purple eruptions on the skin. To treat this, make
the animal fast for twenty-four hours, and give a
warm drink containing a dram of carbonate of
soda and an ounce of bole armenian; cleanse the
animal and the sty, and change the bedding; give
at each meal thirty grains of flower of sulphur and
ten of niter.
Murrain.—This is similar to leprosy in symp
toms with the exception of staggering, shortness of
breath and a discharge from the eyes and nose.
To treat this it is necessary to keep the animal cool
and clean; to bleed, purge and limit him in food.
Cloves of garlic are recommended.
Quinsy.—Treatment. Shave the hair, and rub
with tartar emetic ointment. Hot applications are
also useful. When the swellings are ripe, with a
sharp knife make a cut the entire length, press out
the matter, wash with warm water, and dress the
wound with some resinous ointment.
Staggers. — This is caused by rush of blood to
the head. Bleed and purge.
Swelling of the Spleen. — The symptom most no
ticeable of this disease is, that the affected animal
leans to one side, cringing as though in internal
pain and bending toward the ground. The cause
of this is overfeeding. To treat it, clean out the
alimentary canal with a powerful aperient. Compel
the animal to fast for four or five hours, after which,
give a little broth in which is mixed some Epsom
salts. If the disease has continued for some time
the animal should be bled and given the following
Boil the leaves and tops of wormwood and liver
wort for six hours, and give about one-half a pint to
Surfeit. — This is simply indigestion. The symp
toms being panting, loss of appetite, swelling of the
stomach and sometimes vomiting. This will cure
itself if the animal is fed lightly and the food is of
a liquid nature.
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