Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Animals - Bittersweet

When you've been around something sometimes you assume you know a lot about it. You know what assuming does right?

Dad was the pig farmer. Since he has been gone we've learned that we have a lot to learn about pigs. We've made mistakes that have cost us time, money, and pigs. We completely messed up our breeding cycle, and were at the point that we didn't care anymore when piglets were born, just so some were born.

I can't tell you how overjoyed I was to finally see this Monday morning.

This is a first time gilt bred to a first time boar. I wasn't expecting much. In fact, I was beginning to doubt if we were expecting anything, (we were off on when she was bred) until I finally started seeing the physical signs last week.

This first timer birthed 15 pigs. (Three didn't make it through the first night.) We expect to get at least 8 piglets from each sow. So, 12 is thrilling. There are a couple questionable ones left in the litter, but even those seem to be finding their way to a teat. They are feisty little things. I am watching them closely though.

This gilt was a bit skittish, and I wondered what she'd be like as a mother. She has been incredible careful and gentle with the piglets. She lays a long time for them to nurse. Much to my relief, she has been tolerant of me too. Mother pigs can be fiercely protective to the point that you can't even go near them or the piglets.

Sweet right?  Now the bitter part.

That is a vaginal prolapse. She could have a genetic disposition to this condition. She may have been slightly over weight. Regardless of what caused it, the best we can hope for is to keep it from getting infected (thus the purple from the Blue Kote,) and to let her raise up her litter.  We can't breed her again.

It makes me sad. This is a gilt we picked out of our own stock to keep as a sow. She has done wonderfully with this one litter, but this will be her last litter.

The bittersweet of raising animals. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry. I hope y'all are able to pick out a great prospect for breeding from her litter. Stay positive and keep in mind... it takes two. The sire's genetics may have superceded!!