Monday, May 12, 2014

The baby pigs have arrived!

I haven't been sharing much here but I will make an effort to try harder... I know, I know.... I keep saying that and I can understand if you are all like "Yeah, whatever. We've heard that before!" I'm truly sorry but life seems to get in the way of my best laid plans. Then I get so far behind that I don't even know where to start updating... does that ever happen to you? I mean like when it has been a long time since you've seen a good friend then one day you do see them and you have so much to say to that person you just can't find a good place to start. Well that is the way I feel right now, so I'm just going to start blurting out whatever comes to mind..... you've been warned. [wink]

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of recent things that have happened here on the farm is Red (the pig) had babies. This is the fist litter of pigs that have been born here since 2002. Yes, twelve years ago, that is a long time. Especially when you are trying to prepare for a new litter and can't remember the details of how to calculate the due date (yes I remember now it's three months, three weeks, and three days), the first signs of labor, etc. I really had to delve into the recessed of my brain to answer some of the questions that *T* had about pigs having babies. This is the first litter he has ever seen born or had any part in raising.... it has been quite an experience for him .... and for me trying to reassure him everything will be fine.... I really think he was as nervous about these baby pigs' delivery as he was when I was in labor for our two boys. He'll never admit to it but it's true!

So, here is a picture of Red a little over a year ago on April 14th. We had just brought her and her sister (Patches) home. They were about eight weeks old at the time.

Here they are the day we put them in the outside pen. They looked so small in that huge outside pen... but they loved it!
In mid November we helped my mom, who lives across the road, clean out her garden and the boys hauled some of the 'leftovers' home to give to Red. Yes, just Red, by then we had sold Patches and Red was our only pig. She had no problem cleaning up the garden leftovers by herself. I'm thinking she was kind of glad she didn't have to share her "goodies" with anyone.

She was one happy little (okay, big) piggie!

I almost forgot... I was going to tell you about our baby pigs... sorry I get sidetracked A LOT!!!

On January 1st a friend of ours brought his boar to visit Red for a couple of months. She was in heat the day he brought the boar but we wanted to make sure he was still here if she cycled again. We never noticed her in heat again, so we figured she should be due to farrow around the 25th of April. Well, I should say "I figured" because *T* counted the days differently than I did and came up with May 1st.... I'm not sure how he counted 115 days (three months, three weeks, and three days) from Jan. 1st and came up with May 1st. Either way, by April 24th she was getting pretty uncomfortable and couldn't lay still and didn't seem to know what to do with herself. While *T* was at work I moved her into a bigger pen, hoping she would be able to find a more comfortable position to have her babies.

The first one was born Friday, April 25th around 5pm

The boys thought this was great entertainment...
 After having seven babies she seemed to take a little break and I was thinking that she might be done. Seven is a nice size litter for a fist time mama pig.
 This was number twelve!!!! YES, TWELVE!!!
By this point it was like watching clowns get out of a VW.... how many more could there be in there?
After number thirteen Red got up and was walking around in her pen looking at the babies like "what are those things and how did they get here?" I will admit I was a little bit nervous that she wasn't going to want them at first. We stayed with her until after she laid back down, we wanted to make sure she didn't smoosh any of them.We were all getting tired and hungry so we left Red and went to the house to eat some dinner (it was close to 8pm) and get the boys ready for bed. After getting the boys settled into bed I went back to the barn to see if Red had passed the placenta..... she sure did.... and another baby! WHAT? I counted and recounted those wiggly little piggies almost a dozen times to make sure I was not mistaken.... sure enough, there were fourteen piglets! WOW. That is a lot of piglets for a first time mom.
Then when we were cleaning up and taking the placenta out we found one more that was dead. So she had actually had 15 babies. WOW.... I'm still in shock. I can not believe she had that many babies!
The next morning we found one of the babies dead, it looked like she had laid on it, but the other 13 were still doing good.


 Here they are at 6 days old.... look how much they have grown. All 13 are still going strong.

On Sunday they were two weeks and two day old. We moved them to the big outside pen and here is a video showing hem out for the first time. They were so curious about everything, yet still a little scared to be too far from Mama for a while.
*** And before anyone fusses about me not being too concerned when my child screamed bloody murder.... he was fine! I could see him and he was playing on the slide. Later he told me that "that is our scream slide. So we have to scream every time we slide down it." So no hate mail, or anyone saying I was more into filming piggies than I was checking to see if my kids were hurt..... They were happily playing on the other side of the yard, within sight of me the whole time. :) ***
 After being outside for a few hours they got brave, and also found a hole under the fence....

There really isn't anything much cuter than a baby pig.... unless of course you can find a rare moment like this one...
They were so excited that they finally got their hands on one of the piglets! I thought *Z* was going to drop it because it got to squirming around so much but he didn't. Of course my memory card ran out of memory so I couldn't continue to film, but we put the baby back in with Red and the rest of the piglets.

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