You spent extra time and money sourcing out your heritage livestock specimen. You vow to raise it as natural as possible and produce its offspring. If you are raising pigs one of the first conflicts you face when farrowing is to give or not to give iron shots to your piglets.
Iron is necessary to prevent anemia by importing and distributing oxygen to the body and then exporting the carbon dioxide out of the body. Lack of iron results in stunted growth, muscle weakness and death. If your piglet looks pale around the nose, eyes or mouth it could have an iron deficiency and become more susceptible to illness like scours.
Popping a pill down your piglets throats, giving it an injection behind the ears or in the back of its neck is most likely to disturb the organic farmer's soul as it should. The core of Earth contains iron and it's dirt is rich in the said mineral. If you have a pig that is living outside, rooting up the soil it most likely has a large bank of this mineral in it's system and is able to pass it on during the pregnancy to the piglets to be born. This very same practice that is not part of a factory pig's life that lives on a concrete floor will program the offspring to dig and root for the mineral of life we know as Iron.
If your sow is on a dirt floor you have no iron deficiency to worry about. If not make sure you set a side a bucket or two if your sows are farrowing in the winter, toss it in their shelter and watch them eat it up like candy.
Everything your animal needs to survive and heal in life is programmed in its DNA. All you have to do is gain a state of understanding, follow its lead, provide what it wants and you will succeed in furthering your heritage breed back to its natural genetic states.
Thanks to Andrew Rogers and Sarah Welk for encouraging me to give dirt a try.