July1 , 2022

Teeth Clipping in Young Pigs



Teeth Clipping in Young Pigs

The teeth of the young pig are clipped as soon as possible after birth. The piglet is born with 8 teeth. If the teeth are not clipped the sow’s (mother) udder may be injured by the suckling piglets. Removal of the teeth also prevents the young pigs injuring themselves while fighting or playing.


Importance of teeth clipping in young pigs


Piglets bite the sow (mother) in their fight to get hold of one of her teats and suckle. The pain caused by this disturbs the sow causing her to get up and prevent her young from feeding. The cuts to the sow’s udder also allow germs to infect the udder. In their fight to grasp the teat and suckle, piglets will also bite and injure one another. The simple practice of clipping the teeth as soon as possible after birth prevents these problems.

When should the teeth be clipped

The piglet’s teeth should be cut as soon as possible after its birth. The teeth can be cut when the pig is only 15 minutes old. The sow and her young should be separated for as short a time as possible. In order to clip the teeth you will need either a pair of tooth clippers or pliers or forceps.

You will need someone to help you separate the sow and her young. You will also need a box containing bedding and a clean empty pen.

 How 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.


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