Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bad day at the farm - part 1

Pasture farrowing is new to me; it works pretty well in the summer; it's warmer and a little drier. Some folks seem to be able to farrow pigs in the winter -- like Walter Jefferies at sugar mountain. http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2006/01/winter-farrowing-ideas-1.html

So this is my first winter farrowing on pasture. I have been following the sow for the last week, making sure that she was bedded with clean, dry hay... and I lost all 9 of her piglets today.

Some of these didn't make it out of their unbilical sacks, others did, but were found dead around the sow. The scientist part of me says that negative results are results, but it sucks when you're carrying a bucket of piglets.

I took pictures of the piglets, but after contemplating this, I've decided not to post them. There's nothing you'd learn from them, and for me, I'd like to forget today happened as quickly as possible.

I think in winter, I'll be switching to a farrowing pen for the first week or so of the piglets life, in a barn. After being cited, threatened, fined and paying various fees to snohomish county, they haven't granted me the permit that they required me to get, or told me that they will not grant it, so I cannot finish my barn that I started last year, and that sucks as well.

Snohomish county says they want to preserve and enhance farming, but my experience as the only new farmer in several miles in any direction is that they are hostile to any farming or any other activity. If my barn were complete I'd have someplace to put my steer, and someplace to put my other pregnant pigs. As it is, I'm stuck with a bucket of dead piglets and a steer that's likely to die, too.

No comments: