We have so many piglets! Both Fern and Willow have given birth in the last ten days, and we now have 22 piglets....plus, we have two more pregnant girls in the barn that are due by this weekend! We will be swimming in piglets, so much cuteness shouldn’t be allowed.
It hasn’t all been easy and fun however. Because we have four pigs pregnant at the same time, we decided that the two senior sows, Fern and Willow, who had already farrowed once before, were to give birth in the woods, while Juniper and Strawberry would be moved down to the barn to farrow. We prefer having the girls give birth in the barn as it’s close to the house and we can keep a good eye on the pigs and piglets, as well as start the socializing process of the piglets. Accidents do happen, the piglets are really small compared to their moms, and they like to hide under the hay and they run the risk of getting stepped on or squashed. This happened twice with the infamous Ruby farrowing, but because this happened in the barn, Dan and I were able to get there fast enough to save the pigs. Unfortunately with the pigs in the woods being so far away, we have had more piglet mortality than we would like. Willow lost five of her seventeen piglets and I found two dead piglets this morning in Ferns den, leaving her a total of ten.
It’s hard to see these tiny little dead bodies, and I think in the future we won’t be having pigs farrow in the woods. There are just too many variables and there is too much risk.
The surviving piglets are doing just great! They are super cute and soft and smell like babies...