Sunday, March 21, 2010

Look, this stuff happens.

Ok, so I'm out fixing the fence in the sacrifice paddock for the pigs, and I see my boar breeding a sow. Well, he's trying.

So I'm watching this, and wondering if the boar is having some sort of issue. It's not like he's new at this; he's been a part of 300 or 400 piglets, but today seems different somehow.

You can almost see the balloon over his head. "?????"

Or maybe that's the balloon over the sows head. She's patiently standing there waiting.

Ok. After watching this for 5 minutes I go over and push him off her. He weighs about 800lbs, and I don't want him on her for an hour. The things you do when you're farming animals. I cajole him around to the other side of the sow.

Ok. He finally figures it out. I note which sow it is he's breeding, and use the gestation calculator to get a likely due date of July 12th, 2010. I'll check her with my pregtone a couple of months to confirm her pregnancy and make a note on my farm calendar of her due date.

Ok, now that you've read this entry, do you think that it's appropriate? It's part of the cycle, but I'm curious if it violates the generally G rated nature of the rest of the blog.


Anonymous said...

it's part of farming. Keep it.

Craig said...

Keep it posted. Farm animals do strange things. I've seen bulls do the same thing to the heifers. They're just having a little fun.

People's Republic of Lynnwood said...

It's cool, keep it up. Circle of life and all that.

Nice blog.

Chris said...

Isn't the breeding cycle in spring part of the farm life? I know that many of the city folks have little to no idea how those piglets magically arrive. It is biology not porn.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone old enough to read who is reading a farm blog shouldn't find "the birds and the bees" embarrassing. As long as it's not discussed in a lewd fashion, but in a matter-of-fact way, it's part of the deal. And I think people who are interested in learning about farming really want to know-all of it-not just the charming parts.

Hey how do you like your Pregtone? Is it easy to use & an accurate predictor of pregnancy, in your experience? Would you choose another model with different features, now having had this one? I'm curious about the ones that also do loin-eye measurements, that would be nice to have, if it worked well! And detecting # of heartbeats would also be cool, though they don't seem to promote that. Maybe it's too hard for most laymen operators to learn to do?

Lee said...

Doesn't bother me. Call it a "National Geographic G" rating, although your farm kill photos are cleaner than the lion kills I've seen on TV.

StefRobrts said...

That's hilarious, and perfectly G rated as far as I'm concerned. Why shouldn't kids know how piglets get made? Life on the farm :)

Bruce King said...

Thanks for the feedback on the posting topic. I wonder sometimes when I post stuff what folks think about it.

The pregtone I've got is the simplest model they sell; a continuous tone for pregnant, intermittent for not, reflects the ultrasound off the amniotic fluid. It's pretty easy to use, but requires that the pig stand still while you rub oil on its belly and press this thing to it. Not a problem with my pigs -- we handle them every day and they're used to being touched.

It's saved me hundreds of dollars in feed -- I don't feed sows longer than neccesary. I'll sell a sow if she doesn't get pregnant, and the last thing I do before they go to market is to test them. This gives me good confidence that they're open, and it's caused me to keep a sow that I would have otherwise sold.

I don't bother with the lion size or backfat measurers. that's more for showpig stuff, or large commercial operations, and the units that does that are much more expensive than the ~$350 i paid.

reighngold said...

Hi Bruce,

Keep it, it's hilarious and very G. Frankly, they type of person who would not like this would go nuts over your slaughtered pig pictures.

I like it cuz it shows the good life the pigs live LOL!! More proof that local farm raised is better for all involved.

Anonymous said...

I'm with everyone else - possibly even more so in that I think the initial confusion is somehow very funny. Farmers often have to help out a bit with animals new to the game, but since this guy is an old hand ( as it were) maybe Craig has the right analysis.
No offense to Colliefarm but as far as I'm concerned this IS a charming part, especially, as others have pointed out, compared to pictures of the end point - also good things to post,btw. The more reality the better now that we're in the age of Farmville.

Again, I'm forced to be anonymous 'cause that's the only way blogspot'll let me in, even though my place ( is in your outgoing links. Go figure.

Sustainable Eats said...

Bruce, I would keep this. It's totally G and something kids would see dogs do any day of the year. My 6 year old would think it was hilarious.

Joanne Rigutto said...

I'm with everyone else, part of farming. BTW, horses, goats and emus do this, but I don't think I've ever seen one of the chickens go backwards like this.... :-)