PIGLETS! PIGLETS! PIGLETS!
This has been a busy few weeks. All of our sows have had their spring piglets in the last three weeks.
First Mary had hers, on a cold, cold day. We were working my ten year old son's PTO fund raiser and when we got home I went down to check on Mary. She had already had them and they had frozen to death, all nine of them. I guess that is the chance you take when you don't have the farrowing crates, automatic heat and the confinement farrowing systems that most pork producers have. After having my own babies I don't know if I could do that to the sows. They farrow in 10'X12' pens. I usually help my sows farrow, wiping off the babies, helping them get the first milk, rubbing the sow's back and getting whatever she needs: more clean straw, heat lamps, a rub behind the ears, an encouraging word. As a result, when we have to handle the piglets or moms they are very easy to get along with and happy to be around us. It is much less stressful, believe me!
Betty was the next to have hers and although this was her first time she was a champ. Ten piglets later and we had a wildly marked group of Hampshire/Berkshire cross piglets that were colored from almost all white to completely black.
Beth was our final mom to farrow. She also picked a very cold day, but had better timing. I got home from driving school bus in the morning and went down to check her, she had two born and more coming. I got them dried, the heat lamps on and nine babies later, she and I both took a rest! Her purebred Berkshire babies ware perfect and beautiful.
Life is amazing don't you agree?