Archive for the ‘Farrowing’ Category

Baby pigs again

June 18, 2010

Had to send you some pictures of the latest 10 piglets out exploring the world.  Little images of their dad again.

They are only about a week old but already they are stealing mum’s food.  Such vigourous little things!  With many books saying you have to build special farrowing rails so the sows won’t squash their babies, and that they need special heating and such like – I continue to be relieved when every day there are still 10 little ones out there, despite no farrowing rails and some very cold frosty mornings.  I guess God gave the sows the instincts they need and made the piglets tough enough after all.  🙂

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Piglets, poppies and photos

December 27, 2009

We had more piglets arrive shortly before Christmas.  Pigachu farrowed through the night, ending up with 6 as one was stillborn.  She had 11 last time so it should be a relaxing time for her in comparison.

Poor Mirax had a rough farrowing three days later.  She had one tiny, not fully formed piglet which must have twisted sideways or gotten itself jammed with one of the other piglets.  The result was that she had one lovely piglet when we checked in the morning but no more arrived for over 2 hours.  Then she had 3 in about 15 minutes along with the tiny dead one.  After that she had 2 beautiful looking girls who were sadly dead and could not be resuscitated, followed by one more live fellow.  So in the end she had 5 left from a potential 8.  She had 8 last time so I guess she is being consistent.

They are all out and about a lot of the time now, 2 weeks later.  They seem to be doing well.

The poppy crops have all been flowering.

They turn a bright white and depending on how dense they are they can almost look like snow.  The next stage is when the flowers finish and the pods ripen.

Someone mentioned that it seemed strange to have such a small area in poppies.  I would guess that this paddock is around 20 acres, although it could be anything from 10 to  50 – I find it hard to tell from a distance.  However poppies are a finicky crop and they have to be closely monitored and watered when necessary, so I imagine the size of the paddocks planted would be reliant on the area the farmer is able to irrigate. No doubt that explains why you don’t see too many poppy fields in WA.

Here you can just see one of our turkeys nicking off and exploring the paddock over the road!  Just a bit TOO free ranging!

And I may as well finish up with a few shots of home.  Our potatoes are coming up nicely.

and Lydia has 11 chicks in the brooder box, however with a much smaller, but more secure, run.

Well that’s enough from me.  We hope you all continue to enjoy the holiday period.

The watched pot coming to a boil

July 6, 2009

We have been waiting all weekend for Pigachu to start farrowing (give birth to her babies).  Last week we gave urgent attention to building her a nice big new shelter to rear the piglets in.  She and Erlestoke enjoyed it, ripping open the straw bales we put down one side and making a lovely deep and dry straw bed.

PigachuShelter

We moved Erlestoke the boar in with the other sow and her piglets before the weekend, so that Pigachu could have peace and quiet.   Pigachu had milk in her udder on Friday and so we were sure that she would be starting at any moment.  So we waited, and waited and waited!

PigachuShelter1

She began nesting on Saturday.  Nesting is where they gather straw, branches, bracken and sticks and make themselves a bed.  Of course she decided against our lovely new shelter, and instead made her nest in the old greenhouse dome that had blown into her paddock.  We thought it a strange choice since the dome is completely collapsed and dead, but it was here choice.  Anyway we were sure that the piglets would come on Sunday, but no.  We started to see the pink pig like the proverbial watched pot that would never boil!

PigachuNesting

However, this morning all that changed.  Buried in this wreckage of poly pipe, torn greenhouse plastic, straw and branches is a pink pig in labour.

PigachuInDome

And here is the very first piglet.  Another orange pig like his dad.  And in news fresh in from Sam I have just learned that number two has arrived – and it is pink!

pigachus-piglet

Gotta go now to see the new arrival – so sweet.  Caleb wants one with patches now.

Pink-piglet