Thursday, December 4, 2008

I am sooo pregnant

This is our boar. he's a handsome fellow, about 20 months old, and weighs around 500lbs. he's a berkshire boar. This is the animal that I am aware of when I'm working in their pasture. He'll sometimes see me on the other side of the pasture, and run all the way across. I'm pretty sure I can't outrun him. So while he's galloping at me I have to decide whether it's a backrub he's after, or if he's grumpy. So far he's been mostly itchy, but every now and then he'll come over and try to bite me. He's only half-interested in biting me -- he doesn't make any sort of followup, and I don't tolerate it, but it's a balancing act. I do not turn my back on this animal without having the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Today I chose to step over the magic electric fence to safety. Shorty, one of our sows, greets him.
Shorty looks small in this photo. The boar is 40" tall at the shoulder. Shorty is 350lbs by herself.

This is the subject of this blog. This is Big Momma, my most experienced sow. She's been a great mother and has consistently weaned a high percentage of her litters. She's feeling pretty pregnant right now. I'm guessing that she's due this week. She's laying down like a dog would -- with her hind legs tucked underneath her, and her front legs straight out. She weighs about 450lbs and is roughly 5' long.

Moving around to the side, I'd like to take a look at her nipples. I can usually do this by rubbing her tummy and nipples. I'm guessing it feels really good to be rubbed. You can flip over a 450lb sow with your finger.

That's another pigs ear in the forground. The pigs tend to follow me around when I'm making my rounds. Towards the end of my trip I'll have the whole herd following me. It must look pretty funny from the highway. People honk sometimes.

She doesn't really want to move, so I'm about to move on, when the boar comes up.

He manages to get her on her feet, mostly by threatening to mount her, and as a result I can take a look at her nipples.

Yes, she's starting to get "bagged up" -- Birth soon. I try milking her -- but no milk is flowing, so not today. Maybe tommorow or the day after. Sows enjoy being milked.

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