Saturday, July 10, 2010

the piglet-eye view

These are 1 day old piglets, in their feeding position, a double row on mom.  They have an interesting world view; everything is much bigger than they are.

 In fact, a piglets eye view of mom is a little like a blind mans view of an elephant:  "An elephant is like a tree trunk".
Here's a typical piglet view:  The wall of mom.   Mom weighs about 300lbs, the piglets weigh about 2lbs each.  I wonder if they recognize all of the parts of this vast animal as mom.  Do they know this is moms side, for instance? 

The piglets are pretty oriented, but mom is a lot bigger than them. 
every now and then one of the piglets will stop nursing and go over and visit moms face.  They'll make their high-pitched piglet greeting squeal, and she'll respond with a low grunting noise that is almost subsonic; deep bass.  the piglets will jockey around in front of mom until they're sure that her eye sees them.  It's a little like watching a scuba diver around a whale. 

and then they go back to their nursing, sometimes jostling each other, or falling asleep with a nipple in their mouth. 


Funder said...

They're not in the farrowing crate, are they? Just curious - was the crate not working out, or did that sow sneaky farrow outside?

Bruce King said...

This litter is not in a farrowing crate, they're in a farrowing pen, 8'x16' bedded with wood chips. I'm using the farrowing crates but honestly would rather not, so from time to time I'll try a different setup to see what the result is. The wood chip bedding is the primary difference for this sow; before I've used straw or hay. This particular sow had 11 pigs that all looked good, but crushed 2 of them yesterday, so has 9 remaining. In a farrowing crate the crushing deaths are just about non-existant, which is really their whole purpose. I guess I'm still a bit of an optimist and hope that I can find the right combination of factors that will produce results similar to the crates, but I haven't, yet.