I tried to update my blog. I tried. But my internet is terrible and the folks who “cleaned”my computer deleted my antivirus so my computer is buggy and typing is a pain.
Peppercorn began to nest on a thursday morning. Big and fluffy nest. I gave her a whole bale all tied up in hopes of keeping her entertained for a while. She ripped out a bite of straw andookitto t her nest. came back, another bite. cool, I thought, should keep her entertained for a while, right?
nope. Apparently she got impatient and just picked the whole bale up and waddled to her nest and dumped it there. She was so fidgity I gave her some beer to calm her down. Don’t know how much it helped, but she sure liked it!
It wasn’t until the sun went down she started to farrow. The first few piglets took quite a long time. Two out, took a good 20-30 minutes before Peppercorn got up and repositioned herself. She was so focused on a stuck piglet she accidently laid on both piglets that were at her feet, but her nest was so fluffy i was able to dig them out and they were okay. Finally a HUGE piglet came out and then everyone else came out in fast order. 15 total.
It was a cold night and a few tried to wander off, but i grabbed them once they got too far away and put them back in the nest. I was cold, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was down to the 30’s that night. I went to bed once i felt things were good.
6 am woke up feeling like I needed to get out ASAP. Found two piglets that had wandered out of the nest: one was chilled but okay and i tossed it in with everyone else. One was dead, or so it seemed. when i moved his ice cold body Ihis jaw flapped open with the slightest hint of lift. I had to move fast.
Like I did with Blaze two years ago he went into a water bath. he was so cold I started with luke warm water so as not to shock his system and gradually increased the water temp. He started shivering, then squeaking. Eventually i pulled him out of the water and wrapped him in a towel with a blow dryer pointed in. He was getting better. Another dip in the “hot tub” and within 2 hours he was ready to go back outside. amazing!
15 piglets, 15 teats means alot of fighting.
While Peppercorn did her best to keep her little ones saft they still bit the hell out of each other at feeding time. I’ve never had injuries like I’ve seen with this litter so I made the desicion: pull a piglet. Sold one of the weaker ones that could benefit from more care. Down to 14 piglets and 15 teats everything started going smoother.
We are at 4 weeks now. 15 born, 14.5 weaned. Very good! Dispite how Peppercorns first farrowing went (with 10+ born dead) she is now right in the national average of 21 piglets a year.
We will start weaning this week. I’ll start with the 5 biggest who will go to a local farm and pumpkin patch. I’ll leave the smaller ones on for another week or two. Ack, I’m almost out of piglets?! How can this be?! My boar better hurry up and make some more for me!