We have piglets. Lovely sow no.2 (who might well get a special name as I think she will be a keeper) started farrowing last night. She was nest building during the day so we knew it was imminent.
James added a rail to the ark so the future piglets could have a creep – we didn’t know whether she would squash her piglets, something that can happen with first time mums especially. When he finished she started bringing grass and rooting up plants to make her nest.
At 7.30 pm she was still pregnant, very pregnant.
But at just before 10pm when we put the chickens to bed and checked on her James found three piglets.
I zoomed over there and we watched the fourth being born. We moved the other three piglets to the creep and she cleaned up piglet number four. We thought about, and actually did, put them in a box for a while but we we thought they would be better with her as she seemed to be very, very careful about making sure there were no piglets near her before she lay down.
So in the end we decided she was probably better on her own without two newbie pig farmers anxiously watching her every move and getting in her way trying to fluff up the straw or move a piglet.
James checked on her at 5am and later said she seemed a bit distressed, getting up and down – but there were six piglets. I checked at 7am and she was fine, lying down quietly with 6 piglets. Off to one side though was a little dead piglet – I think it was stillborn. Maybe she was trying to get rid of it when James saw her. We have read that a still-born piglet can take longer to come out.
Anyway all we know is that she has 6 live piglets and so far is being a lovely mum and lying carefully near to them. None have been squashed or eaten. As the piglets are all being quiet I am assuming they have all eaten as well.
We are trying not to disturb her today so she can get used to her babies so there won’t be piglet visiting this evening but maybe in the next few days.
I just went and checked on her and gave her some lunch. She took some time out from looking after piglets to have a quick wallow which allowed me to get some more piglet pictures.