Last week I had to take a business trip. Kinda cool, but that meant being off the farm for a week. And unfortunately my company didn’t ask if any of my animals were giving birth at the time (why didnt they think to ask that before planning the trip?!) and as it happened several were scheduled to give birth. LUCKILY Blaze had hers Tuesday, and Monk had hers the night before I left. My mother came up to the farm to farm sit and was very worried we needed to intervene. little toes were sticking out of Monk and there was no progress. She was just standing and trying to eat everything in sight. I said, “she just needs to focus on the task at hand. Wait for a bit.” Finally she laid down.
Out popped on lamb! She licked it right away, but wouldn’t let it get any milk. “do we need to do something?”
“No, she’s got another coming, wait until that one comes out and she’ll be so distracted licking the other lamb he’ll be able to nurse.”
Sure enough, out came the other one and Monk started letting them nurse. There was some question as to the paternity of my lambs from these two ewes as their father jumped through the electric fence several times to reach them. I think, though, from the facial markings its pretty clear who dad is.
Mooney and Monk make pretty cute babies, though Blaze’s Princess is pretty pretty, too. And she knows it! She has a throne underneath the hay feeder. End count of lambs that survived the birthing process: 5 rams, 1 ewe. Guess my flock isn’t growing this year!
So after staying with Monk I had to get up at 3 am to get on my plane to NJ so I could fly back to Ohio. Lots of sense. 4 1/2 days training.Fly back to Oregon ViA Duram, SC. What?! In the meantime we were down to basically 2 jewelers in a shop that should have 5, so i did some farm work then went into my job for a few hours the day after i got home.
Rosie was scheduled to farrow on Thursday and mom swears she was nesting, but i came home and nothing yet. She finally farrowed on Sunday-my “day off.” (It wasnt really a day off, i tried to throw a spring party an only one person showed after i sent them one last “are you coming” text. Rosie was kind enough to add some guests)
Lovely day to have babies.
Ms.Rosie was very tired by the end. She hadn’t eaten for several days. By the time she had her last one she was too tired to be careful. I saw her try to lay down carefully, and halfway through was like, “aw, screw it. I weigh 700 lbs, its too hard to be careful!” and flopped down. She ended up crushing 3 piglets in the next 12 hours. I didn’t sleep well that night worrying about the piglets. Once Rosie got a good sleep, though, she went back to being oh so careful. No injuries after some rest.
So, as I mentioned we were down a few jewelers. I had to go in on Monday, my normal day off. In the morning Dot was looking wistfully at the woods. We werent going to have a repeat of last time so I built a fence around the lean-to before going to work so she had a private space and was forced to stay out of the woods. Came home and my mother was around. “Hows Dot doing?”
“Eh. Shes not doing much. Just walking around eating, laying down…walking around somemore.” I went to check on her anyway.
Uh huh. not doing a darn thing. Okay, at that point she only had six running around dry and nursing. I called mom over and she got to witness her first pig births a few hours later when she unloaded the second batch of piglets. The last one took forever to come out. it was a never ending umbilical cord…everytime shed push more cord would come out…occationally slip back in, then more cord. Like, 3 feet of cord. FINALLY the big girl popped out, but the veil didn’t break. I broke it around her face and cleared her nose. It took her a while to start breathing, but she finally did. I think if I hadn’t been there she wouldn’t have made it.
Dot looks pretty proud of herself. She did a great job. No losses, no stillbirths, no crushed piglets or injuries. 11 out of Dot, 8 surviving out of Rosie. Ive got more pigs than I know what to do with.
Anyway, then I worked my full week. I’m going into official overtime today. But I’ve been busy. Very busy and tired.