Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meet Ruby and Garnett

These two lovely and sweet pigs are Ruby and Garnet, they are about nine and a half months old right now and they are gilts, which means that they have never giving birth to a litter of piglets before. But that’s all about to chance. These two ladies are pregnant and should be farrowing (giving birth in pig jargon) within the next two weeks! We have spent the time since the piglets moved to the woods preparing the lower level of the barn for their arrival, which mainly involves raking out and scooping out all the old hay, some of which had been trampled down hard by the 14 piglets, especially in the areas that they and chosen as their bathroom. Pigs choose one area of their enclosures to go to the bathroom, it keeps the rest nice and clean and makes it pretty easy for us to do a cleanup from time to time.
With all the old hay out and the chickens pecking through the exposed layers to eat any bugs and to loosen up the hay so that it can dry out, we set up a farrowing area made out of old shipping pallets and gave them a nice thick layer of fresh hay to make their homes in. We will double check it this morning and then walk the girls from their current den in the woods to their new one in the barn. It’s a beautiful day and I think it will be really nice to take these ladies for a walk.  It’ll also be nice to have them close to the farmhouse, because when pigs get pregnant, they get really mellow and gentle and love to have company, so I am planning on spending  a good amount of time with them. This is also important because I want them to feel safe around me so when I aid in the deliveries, they will be calm and relaxed. 
We aren’t sure how many piglets we will have once the girls give birth, but the average is about 10 per pig, so we will have close to 20 tiny piggies running around here in a few weeks, and for those of you considering  a visit, I think that 20 painfully cute piglets is a pretty darn good selling point...


  1. I love this! When are you starting the pig poetry readings, and the swiney sow yoga? Just kidding, but I am really so proud of you! The observation on the cleanliness of pigs is spot on, and has intrigued me, particular when comparing with cows. A cow has no problem lying down in her own shit, a pig will never do that. Perhaps because bovines are really plains animals, tracking and traveling all the time, with little chance of sitting in shit. Your own, that is. Pork providers are more sedentary. Does that make sense to you Farmer Bas?

  2. Justin, they are 100% Tamworth, and the boar they need with is half tamworth and half Gloucester old spot, so we will have some cross breed piglets. Come visit!