Welcome little piggies
October 8, 2018
I’ve dug in the dirt, planted seeds, painstakenly hand weeded beds upon beds of garlic. Had my hands covered in compost mixing it into the dirt to give rejuvination to the soil. I’ve watched chicks hatch in an incubator and I’ve raised chicks from a day old that arrived by post. To be part of, and to see a birth, is the most amazing part of life. Early this morning I was priviledged to be part of one of the gilts first litter. I wasn’t there for the beginning of the delivery process and didn’t even know what was going on while I slept, although before calling it a night, I knew something should be happening during the next few hours. The main farmhand was on duty and when I awoke later in the evening he explained the first piglet was born at twelve thirty a.m. I awoke around two a.m. thinking I needed to be with the gilt. It was approximately an hour later that I finally crawled out of bed, getting dressed and walking down to where the two gilts are housed. I started speaking to Cher (the farrowing gilt) as I approached her enclosure and climbed over the fence to see what was happening. There were piglets! I saw twelve, maybe thirteen squirmy, beautiful creatures. I found it difficult to count so many moving bodies at one time.
Now, you never want to trust a pig! It doesn’t matter how tame or friendly a pig is. Always be aware they are the one in charge and stay ready to move at a moments notice. Don’t get me wrong, we love our pigs and they love us, it just happens to be, how it is.
I ducked down under the overhanging two by four and went into Cher’s personal space. I took the time to sit and watch these small creatures searching for their spot to suckle. I am not sure if I created more tension being there or not and having Cher most comfortable may have been an issue for better or worse. She seemed to be having difficulty preparing for the next birth. Sadly, the piglet was born still. All of a sudden the farmhand appeared, we discussed the dead piglet and how to handle the situation. About 10 minutes later, there was another piglet born, fresh and ready to find the warmth of its mother. Then another piglet! The excitement was over, I tried three attempts at counting how many piglets had arrived with little success.
To conclude, approximately at ten minutes to five, it was all over. Once the remaining membrane was arriving and the hardest part over, I headed for bed at ten minutes to five.