Pig television

Yesterday the gentle mid summer Lull continued. All the calves ate their meals like good little calves. Little is a tiny maybe little bit better but at least holding his own.  He still smells bad and the flies are at him the way they always pick on animals who are sickly.


I was watching him yesterday morning as he closed and opened his eyes, sleeping under a particularly tall weed. I was trying to work out why he has not decided whether or not to fight yet.  He is so ambivalent about his life.  His eyes do not see anything – they do not follow the movements of cats or respond to danger. He just wanders to a fro from his water then slides back to the ground and lays there for hours. He is eating, the antibiotics are clearing up the sounds in his lungs but still he has not engaged. The others calves are recovered for the most part and are playing and fighting each other for food and bashing me in the bum if I don’t watch out but here Little Bobby sits.

It occurred to me yesterday morning that he acts like an animal in shock.  Deep shock.  Baby animals are actually pretty resilient, tough.  Physically anyway.  But many animals and birds can die of shock.  I suddenly had an image of him being pulled out of his mother, due to trauma probably, and set to the side while the farmers turned their attention to saving the mother, he was tiny and still, struggling already, then he was taken away and maybe a truck was leaving right then and off he went to the sale yards.

These animals live in the moment so if he decides to wink out then that is fair really.  He is drinking now, and moving slowly about, his stool is firming, his lungs are settling but still he waits.  He is not here yet.

Talking of waiting here are Tima and Tane.kunekune

They do this every  evening at  milking time. They are watching their show.  Their own personal soap opera. There is a little barn door between their bedroom and the milking shed, it sits high so two little fat pigs, if they so choose- and they do,  can peer under it to observe the milking. I took these pictures so fast that I forgot to change the settings on the camera for the light.

And here they are from the point of view of the milking shed. (I will take these again soon with the camera in order)

Sometimes they get a little rowdy and I have to narrow my eyes at them from under the cow and tell them sternly as I am milking to “Stop that noise immediately Timatanga Moana you fat thing or I will put you outside. And don’t think that does not include you Tane Mahuta you filthy little pig.”


And they do. They go quiet.  For a minute.   They would hate for someone to turn the Tele off!


I have to look in my diary and see how old these piglets are – we must be getting close to weaning.


I hope you have a lovely day.

Love your friend on the farm


P.S Did you see how Aunty Del is almost as tall as Lady Astor.


44 Comments on “Pig television

  1. I was wondering if Little was dragged off so quickly to market that he doesn’t really know which way up life is. Perhaps in a few more days he’ll start to believe the reality of someone being kind to him and start fighting.
    Those Kunekunes made me LOL. I bet they are trying to work out how to steal the milk. I’m sure they’d try to sneak in with Poppy’s babies if she’d let them 😉

  2. if the flies are bothering Little , can’t you lay an old sheet over him to keep the flies away…like they do with horses

  3. I was wondering if Little misses the other little Bobby’s? I suppose it is too early to know if those two Ladies are pregnant yet. Peaceful weekend to you. Laura

  4. Oh Little, please come out of the woods, Naomi is waiting for her playmate, and living the farmy with Miss C and all the others is a good thing!. Poppy’s 5 little firecrackers are 5 weeks old today I believe. She is such a good mama!. Not sure when Aunty Del grew up, right in front of us. Love piggy television, probably chatting on how soon you will share the milk!

  5. Poor Little! It’s sad to think of him in a sale barn. I have a horror of those places myself. I love to think of him in your side yard under the tree.

  6. I love your affectionate piggy insults. It sounds like conversation in our family. Insults were reserved for those we loved, and strict politeness for strangers and those we did not care for… Whakahihi koe, Timatanga Moana!
    St Blaise’s candle is burning and sending its silent supplication to heaven. Did I tell you it was a wonderful mulberry colour?

  7. There is a Bach flower remedy for shock. Could Little try that? Love the two watching their “show”!

  8. I’m so interested in your observations about animals and life and death and shock and will and being here and not being here. Somehow it all makes me feel better about dying. Maybe when it’s my time, I’ll just pick the right metaphorical weed and let my eyes wander where they need to vaguely be. And then, shhhh. Basta. Finito. Over. And it won’t be so bad at all.

    • An excellent philosophy, which I too shall adopt.

      Please stay with us, Little – you’ve no idea the hundreds of folk who are willing you on to recover and enjoy your young life.

      Piggy television: I reckon you could ake a fortune selling a Farmy Soap Opera to one of the TV channels. Every bit of every post would make great episodes.

      Big John: put your feet up on your one day off, and don’t get inveigled into working!

      Lots of love,
      ViV xox

  9. Little is definitely going between living and not. He has been so ill, do you think he knows he is a cow?

    Best wishes for a calm day.

  10. It’s sad that Little has to be alone because of his illness, because a friend might be just the thing to perk him up. I hope you have a happy day!

    • heh heh — Me too! That was a delightful episode of an episode
      Yesssssss, can you possibly try music for Little? It is a remedy for many things and, as he can’t have a buddy too close till he recovers, the music may just be the ‘companion’ that will give him hope — poor baby.
      I am so attracted to your descriptions of events with the animals. You do it so well.
      Hope your day is a great one too! ~ Mame 🙂

  11. Little needs a buddy to nudge him and be comfy with him but I know that isn’t possible since he’s so sick…. would music in his space help him ? Prayers for Little all the way from Upper Northern California.

    • He is right next to the grape vines where I am working and can actually hear the msic from the kitchen but you are right about him being sick, I am living in terror of it reaching the pigs.. c

  12. I know cows are not cats but I remember when I brought my sweet Butterball home from the shelter. He was so ill with pneumonia and eye infections. Beyond giving him meds, I left him alone. He wasn’t getting better and my vet said to spend more bonding time with him. I spent one weekend by his side, petting, brushing, and softly talking to him. Within 24 hours he perked up and purred for the first time…
    I know you spend time with him but maybe someone could spend some hours with him or sleep out next to him? Not like you have anything else to do 😜

  13. I know cows are not cats but when I brought my sweet Butterball home from the shelter he had pneumonia and eye infections. I left him alone except for giving meds. He just was not responding and my vet told me to spend more time bonding with him. I spent and entire weekend by his side softly talking, petting and brushing him. Within 12 hours he purred for the first time and started recovering within 24 hours.

  14. A couple of folks have already mentioned what I was thinking – he’s lonely and he doesn’t know he’s a cow. Without companionship, he doesn’t have anything to motivate him; without the other bobbys he has no role model. Any chance of moving a “friend” close to him so that he has something to focus on? Being with his momma would have allowed him to imprint as a cow, he’s had nothing to imprint on and so his little calf brain is perhaps looking for something to “be” and to aspire to.

    Silly metaphysical thoughts on a Saturday morning, or maybe not?
    Chris S in Canada

  15. I don’t know how you cope so well, when each day seems to present yet another wash basket episode. This a.m. My poor Arthur was vomiting and trying to “go”. In such pain he was curling his back toes. I got him to ER finally. First place was closed of course! They evacuated mucho poop they told me. He is resting now, poor soul. A sick creature is so sad. I sure hope Little becomes engaged with life. This situation is so stressful for you!

  16. Your observations and thoughts about Little’s condition intrigue me. This is how I often wonder about the wild animals I encounter. There is something special in the way your intuition about animals guides you… perhaps it helps them in some way. Isn’t that what we all hope for? When we are down and out, and we have not decided if we have the gumption to proceed, that someone does that one little act or says just the right soothing words, or keeps coming by with that gentle touch that triggers the will to go on. Your tenderness speaks mountains, sweet girl.

  17. The good life of the Farmy where pigs have TV! awaits Little… if he can just hang on and find his feet. You’ve done so much for him, the rest is up to him. Wise to keep him quarantined.

  18. Ah C. as I and everyone has said, if Little is meant to survive it will be because he was brought to you. No one could be doing more for him to help him live than you. He has to sense that and so so beautiful that he is allowed to be out in the fresh air, with all the sights and sounds of life around him. I really think he’ll pull through. You are the calf whisperer now….and pig, dog, cat, bird and cow one too! did I miss anyone? I mean really! How many farms have pig tv? 🙂

  19. Amidst all the troubles and worries one can find laughter: Just loved that first photo of the multitude of bright red teats waiting to be used . . . . talking about a nursery scene 🙂 ! And only you Celi would have the imagination to photograph Tima and Tane back and front and relate that to TV . . . absolutely true tho’!! Hope you and John can have a somewhat peaceful day together when Sunday reaches you. Cold but fine and still here . . .

  20. I suppose your imagined history of that calf is all too likely, and it just makes me feel sick to think of babies of any kind being taken from their mothers so young. Once a person has seen mothers and their newborns interacting, it’s awfully hard to think any other way could be as right and good.
    Oh well. Somedays the world just seems awfully hard, doesn’t it?
    But just today I saw something online about a dairy called “Calf at Foot” and it was such a pleasing image – a mamacow with a calf “at foot” – that I looked at the website just to read about something that would make me happy. And it did 🙂

  21. Can you give Rescue Remedy to animals? It works a treat for humans in shock.

  22. That Little must have some will to live inside that wee body. Tima and Tane are darlings. Two peas in a pod. And such a delight to see them lounging about as couch potatoes.

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