Friday, July 24, 2009

Farrowing

Last evening (right on schedule) our second gilt (Duroc/York cross) farrowed. 16 live births!


A couple were difficult-in fact I had the hot soapy water ready with a a restraint as over an hour passed between the first and second piglet-the second being huge. (20 minutes is usual.) There was a second difficult one at about piglet 8. It came out breach (which in general is okay) but for a while it looked like only one hoof was coming. This piglet is very weak and in the house being nursed now.

About 1/2 way through the farrowing we had a downpour-fortunately it was fairly short. Of course Big Spot had made her nest in the open. She eventually retreated into her house, and we quietly moved the piglets in with her.

We went to bed without knowing the final outcome.

This morning I found piglet had escaped the pen and was wandering. Another had been apparently set on and was dead. And the one we are now nursing, looked dead in the farrowing house, but when I went to remove it, it was still breathing. I brought is in and daughter and Mrs. Curley started working on him. We don't have much hope, but my daughter is trying.

In the picture above, note all the black pigs. Guess dad's genes are pretty dominant. I love it. I love colored pigs. (Tarzan will get his watermelon today!)

16 live births from a gilt is almost double than what would be expected or hoped for. (The twelve we had from the first farrowing this year was very pleasing.) I bought the Big Spot from a friend who also sold me the two 'reds' that I have pictured here before. Of course how many you wean is always the big number. We have a couple runts in there. We'll see how they all do.

Finally, an area farmer let us take the watermelons he can't sell due to over-ripeness or other reasons. The pigs love them-but will get pretty fat unless we control consumption.



God has blessed us greatly.

Oremus pro invicem!

2 comments:

Jim said...

Jim

Beautiful pigs! Too bad we were too late to not see the pigs get here.

Jim Dorchak

TS said...

Nice pics!