It turned out that I had looked up the wrong date for when the piglets were suppose to be due. I was a week or so early. One of our ladies was really starting to swell up over the past week. Yesterday her milk looked like it was going to burst out. We hadn’t seen her build a new nest or anything but figured it would be okay to have her out with the rest of the sows. Meadow went down this morning while I was milking the cow to find two piglets in very different places. She was immediately worried fearing that we had missed the farrowing during the night and these two were the only ones left. But after looking at how big the sow’s belly still was led us to think there were still more on the way. We were right a few moments after we had come to this conclusion a third piglet fell from the sow who was standing and eating along with all the other pigs.
Our other sow had been such a good mommy we were surprised by how bad this new one seemed to be. She didn’t seem to notice the squealing piglets or have any interest in feeding them. We lured her into a little piglet shack we have set up in their current pen after she popped out another one without seeming to notice. I tried to induce a food comma by overfeeding her milk and sweet corn. I left Meadow to mind the piglets while I harvested for the CSA.
After about 3 and a half hours she plopped out the last one and immediately started to build a nest. She half buried piglets as she went but now she would make the pig mommy noise to warn off trouble and call the little ones in. After the nest was to her liking she finally laid down and let them start nursing for serious. It seems she will know be a good momma but if next spring she does the same thing we will have to think about selling her or making her into pork chops. Good mothering is a trait that we really want to select for as we move forward with our pigs. And taking 4 hours to lie down for nursing doesn’t seem too great. Within the week our other new sow should be ready to pop out another group of piglets. Then it we have to wait till the first week of October for the last batch of fall piglets.Ania was very interested in the new piglets when Meadow went down. She still hadn’t figured out to be scared of the fence line. She somehow managed to get in with the pigs with out getting hit. Meadow ended up picking her up and putting outside the fence. But Ania really wanted to play with the new squeak toys. This time she didn’t make it through the fence. I was up by the house and herd a high pitch squeal then loud whimpering getting closer and closer. She flew by me and headed up the stairs to hide in her kennel.
Maybe this time she will finally get it. Yesterday she got hit by a fence but was immediately attacked by a mother hen. The chicken had freaked out when Ania started storming towards running from the wire. They traveled a good 20 feet and a mass of feathers and fur. Ania finally wedged her self under the milking stand and kicked the chicken off of her. This morning she was so scared of the chicken she didn’t want to come out for her morning goat herding.