Friday, December 17, 2010

Piglets 3

On Sunday December 5th, Jonathan and Hugh came over for the always fun chore of "working the piglets." And as is the case with most things on the farm, this second time around was much easier. After luring Sadie out of the farrowing hut, they blocked her re-entrance with an old door while I went in and quickly put the piglets in a carrier and made my way out the back.

The trick is to keep the piglets as close to the ground as possible while you're picking them up. When their feet are off the ground, they scream. When they scream, momma gets upset. When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

While one piglet mysteriously disappeared on their second night, there are seven happy piglets remaining. Thus, out of Sadie's second litter there were 4 females and 3 males, with the ever-present runt being a male. We notched their ears and wormed them all, and castrated the males.

In other news, I've traded two gilts from this litter for two Berkshire gilts from Trew Organic Farms in Ocoee, TN. This will allow us to do some crossbreeding for hybrid vigor, which will be good for those hogs destined for the table, as well as have piglets for sale more regularly throughout the year. Out of this litter, though, we're keeping the rest to feed out for ourselves and several folks who have already indicated an interest. Ruby, however, is most certainly pregnant, as her milk began dropping early this week, and so I expect we'll have another litter very soon.

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