Monday, March 23, 2009

Pinky in the farrowing pen

This is pinky. She's a young sow having her first litter. She was pretty agitated today, wandering around, ignoring the electric fence and generally not acting "right". I've been watching her for a few weeks now, and figured that this behavior was because she was close to farrowing.

So you can milk a sow. At this point in their pregnancy that WANT you to stroke their belly and nipples. So it's pretty easy to check to see if she's producing milk, and today she was producing a little milk, which usually means farrowing is in the next 48 hours.

I put her into the 2nd farrowing stall, next to red n black, who seemed delighted to have company. The piglets were interesting; pinky laid down next to the center divider, and all of the piglets and red n black started mouthing her back through the hog panel. I hadn't seen them do this before. Maybe it was to comfort her, or the piglets were trying to nurse off her. I don't know. She quieted down as we put a couple of hog panels over the top of the pen to make sure she didn't jump out before she has her piglets.

The buckets have a little food in them, but are there mainly as pig toys, to give her something to distract her.

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