Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pigs at night

One of the things that you do every day on a farm is a welfare check of the animals; you look at each animal and at their food, and water, and shelter, to make sure that things are good. So tonight i was walking through the pasture and checking

This is a pretty typical pasture scene taken with a flash. The pigs sleep head to tail, next to one another. You can see the hay used to bed the pigs. I put a new bale in from time to time -- they eat some of it, and as it gets wet, they actually move it out of the shelter. Pigs like to sleep dry and warm. Each one of these sows weighs around 400lbs. The calf dome that we use for pasture shelters is 4' tall and 8' wide.
This is tank, one of my older sows, at 24 months. Shes calm, and good natured. I am not sure why she's taking an evening walk tonight, it's kind of rainy and cold, but she's out there pacing along the electric fence you can see in the background over her head and to the left. She is pregnant, so she may be looking for someplace to nest.
Her teats don't look bagged (enlarged, full of milk), so while she is pregnant it's not something that is close. So off she wanders.

Close behind tank is her sister and littermate, big momma. Momma has been rooting around -- that's dirt on her nose, and is just finishing raising a litter of pigs. Notice that she's still bagged. Must be the night for a walk. The pigs don't mind the rain in the slightest, although they do like to sleep in in the morning.

Over in the big shelter, the piglets are nursing and squealing; all is well there.

One last shelter to check.

This is a surprise. That's our boar, a 550lb berkshire boar, who generally is the animal we have to watch while we're working with the pigs. And that's one of our goats standing on the boar. Of all the animals that the goats could sleep with I wouldn't have picked this one. Goats have sharp little hooves. I'm suprised he's tolerating this.
Now there's two goats on the boar. Ok -- pretty funny, but I'm sure that the goats will be safe from coyotes tonight. All is well on the farm.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

awesome pigs, i really enjoyed reading about them!