Wednesday, December 2, 2009

orphan piglet (well, sorta)

One of my sows had a litter in a bad spot on the pasture -- middle of a puddle, and most of the piglets died.  I didn't find her for a few hours, and when I did, only one was alive, so i brought it back out and warmed it up in the truck, and then took it home and have been bottle-feeding it for the last couple of weeks. 

This is a self-grilling piglet.  Here she's cuddled up to the electric baseboard heater afte getting her bottle of milke, and is grunting softly.  She's got a variety of vocalizations, a whole range and chorus, and seems to use them consistently.  There's the "I recognize you" grunt, the "slow down, you're walking too fast" squeal, the "I want a bottle now squeal" and so on. 

I don't mind handling the sows as much as I do the barrows.  There's a chance that if I get attached I can keep her around for breeding purposes.  I usually maintain a bigger distance between myself and the animals, but it's been interesting dealing with this infant pig. 


Anonymous said...

One longtime pig farmer told me that its the sows (and boars) you get attached to that you'll probably keep around after they've started to cost you money.

Anonymous said...

Who's claimin' the mia culpa for all the kin to the one ya got livin in yer cozy casa... I mean on account of the fact that the first few breaths of their short lives was a mix of feces laden mud-puddle water and all. Did ya have a nice hut for that old girl to take care of her natural business or did she have no choice but to spit her kin right dab in the middle of a puddle. Or is she just one of those hard headed old girls that just sticks it to ya any old way she can... and deep too. what I know Bruce, is did you fuck up or is the sow at fault. It's hard for the reader to glean that information.

Bruce King said...

who's at fault -- I am.

It happened on my land with an animal in my care. So it's my fault.

She had several different places she could have farrowed; four calf huts bedded with hay, a 1/2 acre of forest that would have offered some cover, or, if I'd noticed her in time, I could have put her into the hay barn as I've been doing with other sows as they farrow.

She created a nest by rooting out a furrow, and after the did that it rained. The furrow filled with water, and the pigs went into the water sometime during the night. In the morning, when I came out to check on the herd, well...

JewelyaZ said...

Sort of a sad story, but she sure is cute! Have you named her (and therefore, committed her to the not-eaten crowd, at least for a while)? :-)