Matilda with her new litter – I took this picture yesterday a little while after they were born
2 out of the 3 (the mostly white one and the mostly black one) did pretty well. One had a litter of 12 and one a litter of 10. They were pretty good mothers, especially for first-timers and considering the sorta crude conditions we have to farrow in. The interesting thing was, though, that they really didn’t like Matt coming around. He would go in to check on them and they’d get all riled, jump up and end up stepping on a piglet or two. They ended up weaning 4 and 8 – not the greatest but better than the Chesters had generally done.
I, however, could go in the pen with them and it didn’t bother them a bit (as long as I didn’t make anybody squeal.) This really bothered Matt. He took it a bit personally. I told him next time to just leave them alone, let them do their thing, and stay out of it.
The third gilt wasn’t so great. She had her litter outside, in the rain in a mud puddle and lost them all. We gave her another chance, but this time around the other 2 have farrowed within 2 days of each other and she’s not even bagging up. So we’re wondering if she’s even bred. She’s definitely the low girl on the totem pole – the other 2 don’t like to share their food with her and chase her away. Maybe they did the same thing with Ollie! So if she indeed didn’t get bred she’ll be going down the road and we’ll keep a gilt or 2 back from the spring litter.
Chicken wondering what in the heck these things are doing in her space. Some hens have been laying eggs in here while it’s sat empty.
Monday Matt had a touch of the stomach flu, so he stayed home from work and didn’t get out to do chores as early in the morning as usual. When he did get out there he found that one gilt had farrowed – a beautiful litter of 12! He called back up to the house and said, “I think the stomach flu was God’s way of keeping me out of her way while she farrowed.” Just like I’d told him – stay out of their way and let them do their thing. The second sow farrowed Wednesday, a litter of 11!
The first litter, born Monday. I took this picture Wednesday.
This summer Matt’s been sucking up to the girls big time, talking sweet to them and scratching their ears and their backs every day when he brings them their feed. And it seems to have paid off. They still don’t want him to get too close, but they at least tolerate him getting close enough to get a head count. So far each sow has lost just 1 pig. Hopefully they’re the kind of moms we think they are, and will get the offspring through this cold snap (down to 28 tomorrow night!)
Love the colors. They look so long at this age!
1 year ago: