Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Piglets!

Our Miss Pig, Charlotte, worked several days making her nest just right to have her brood. She had quite a mound of straw in the middle of her big stall and then she laid there and panted and panted and panted. All day Monday we checked her several times and she didn't seem to be progressing at all. The panting and groaning continued through evening chores and I figured she would be that way until morning. I did a barn check at 7:30 pm. and nothing had changed. Tom did a barn check at 9pm and called to say we had a piglet. We all raced to the barn, cameras in hand to view something we had never seen before. Piglet #1 - they are very cuddly :) It was ten minutes and she had number 2; and then 3; and 4,5,6,7,8 and by 11 pm she had 9 little piglets. Tom would rub her belly in between delivering the piglets and then catch each one as the delivered it. I would then wipe the face and nose off and cut the umbilical cords. The membrane on the piglets is so fine that it almost disintegrates as the air hits it. Mother pigs do not clean off their babies as cows or sheep do. They are extremely active from the time they hit the ground. I was trying to contain them to one area so she could deliver the rest without the first few disturbing her. The piglets were having none of it. They were hungry and that's all there was it.

These three had to have a drink of milk before Mama pig could continue with the work of delivering the rest of her babies. They instinctively know where to go for the faucet. It wasn't long and they were full and warm.
In a matter of just a very few minutes, she had seven and I had them corralled and was trying to keep them there so she could finish. These little guys can crawl and scoot around - you just wouldn't believe it. They climbed right over that 2x6 and were headed for their Mother! I finally told Tom I couldn't stop them and let them all out of their pen.

Charlotte and her nine babies at 11:30 p.m. Monday evening. All seemed well and we all decided to go to the house and our beds. When I went to the barn this morning at 6 I was very surprised to find three more piglets.....12 sweet little piglets, all cuddled up to Mom, as content and happy as can be. I am overjoyed at the entire process. It was so worth all the time and effort - Charlotte is so trusting of Tom - he has done so well with her since we bought her as a baby. It wasn't so long ago I can remember Tom not being into the animals at all. What a change in him as well. Funny how animals can bring out the best in all of us. I'm very proud of Charlotte and Tom as well.
~Sweet dreams ~




15 comments:

simplefarmgirl said...

AWh how wonderfull reading your story makes me miss not having babies this year even more.. Guess that will change this fall as we are having such a time to find piglets that i will once again be in the pig business.. The babies look wonderful and its just such a blessing to have every thing work out great. Animals do bring the best out in people. Congratulations on all your new little ones

threecollie said...

Oh, this was so worth waiting for! How delightful. Congratulations!

DebH said...

Oh Man..can't wait to see what week will bring!! My family had a huge pig operation when I was growing up. This really brought me back! They grow so fast too and become the fattest little butterballs in now time.
More pictures please! and Congratulations!!

Taylor said...

Twelve! I don't know how many are usually in a litter of piglets, but that seems like so many! They are awfully cute! Congrats on your proud mama!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

thanks, I've never had any experience raising pigs either, great post!

Candy Duell said...

What a fun story, I am glad all the little piglets are doing well. They grown pretty darn fast!

DayPhoto said...

Deb, this was just wonderful! I enjoyed the whole read, and the photos, and the delightful smile on the little piggies face. And I loved the smile in your post as you wrote this.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Shula said...

Congratulations to you, Charlotte and Tom :) 12? That's a lot of piglet. They look adorable.

Gayle said...

How exciting...bonus piglets!

cowgirlwannabe said...

Poor Charlotte must be exhausted! Great pictures!

kristi said...

I am wishing all a healthy being! Wow, that is just amazing! I hate to ask, but will you be selling fresh pork at your farm market in the future?

Deb said...

Donna,
Thanks.....hope you find your piglets soon.

threecollie,
Thanks you - I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

DebH,
You and me both :) I know they will grow so fast but I plan on enjoying them as they do. I'll post photos often :)

Taylor,
I guess 12 isn't an unusual number and she has 12 teats so each one has a faucet...lol....

Joanna,
Thank you - so nice to see you here :)

Candy,
Thanks :) I was very relieved that all went well. It's scary how fast they will grow. It will be fun to watch them.

Linda,
I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. These are happy little piggies :) and yes, I'm a happy pig owner. It was such a delightful experience.

Shula,
Thank you. They really are so darn cute and your right - 12 is a lot of piglets :)

Gayle,
I was thinking the same thing when I went to the barn this morning - these animals just never cease to amaze me :)

cowgirlwannabe,
I do think Charlotte is pretty tired - she really worked hard. She's a great Mom and very attentive to ALL of those little piggies :)

Kristi,
Thank you - and yes, we will have fresh pork in the shop in the fall. Many of these are spoken for already.

lisa said...

It is nice to see a different cute baby! They are soo adorable when they are little. I love that last picture!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Oh MY. Those are the cutest lil piggies! What a good momma!

Nancy K. said...

How AWESOME!!!

Thanks for sharing ~ I never knew that newborn piglets were that ambulatory! What a fun post and I'm looking forward to watching the piglets grow...