A Dalek to the rescue

The New Little piglets are still alive.  They are drinking and wobbling about. They are not being given back to their mother. When Tahiti calmed down I went in and removed seven piglets bodies and parts of bodies.  I tell you this so you know why I have decided to try to raise the surviving seven myself. Poor Old Tahiti.  But I cannot breed from her again.  I cannot trust her.  I saw what she did.  Pigs are not intelligent they are not cognitive but they are highly instinctual.  And her instinct to trap and kill her piglets when she herself is frightened is not sustainable on my little farm.

Here is a nice story.

A local woman farmer read about my problem (FaceBook publishes my blog, so Social Media really is useful) and even before I called her to ask about sow replacer she had dug out her piglet feeder (it is very old – and has saved numerous broods of piglets for her), called our local feed store and asked if she had any milk replacer (the feed store owner is a  woman farmer too who operates a small feed store from her farm and we all buy from her) then when I called she had everything in place and all I had to do was drive over and pick it all up.  How is that for kind neighbours?.  Women Farmers Rock.piglets

So I trained the seven piglets to drink from their gentle and quiet Dalek mother. They are very busy piglets so that was a bit of a riot – piglets bite too, the little savages). The Dalek has a heater that keeps the milk warm and is screwed down to a heavy base so now I can allow the piglets to drink whenever they want to. I just have to keep fresh milk in there and pop in every few hours to make sure they are all eating.   They are all set up in the turkey house with a heat lamp.


We are not out of the woods yet but we are way ahead of the last game. Whoever decides to live will still be alive in 24 hours.

Molly and her brood survived the experience without a problem.  All good in that department yesterday.

The thing with an incident like this is that it threatens to take over your whole day – defining every decision.  But the piglets will just have to slot in with the other farm jobs, I will do a few very late nights and very early mornings until I am satisfied that everyone is drinking well and I will deal with each of their crisis as they arise. But the milking still must be done, the big pigs fed, the mineral still has to go out to the cows and the broken window in the barn fixed, the chicks fed, the washing hung on the line and dinner made – not to mention all the straw in the house from last nights rescue mission needing sweeping. It is easy to neglect the rest and that would result in another catastrophe. I must stay aware!

It was hard for me not to sit with the piglets all day but there was plenty of other things to do and I got most of them done.  And it is important that they drink when they want to not when I want them to – this is much more natural and easier on the digestion.  As long as they all drink of course. I should put numbers on their backs to tell them apart.  There are two that are still not vigorous – I have my eye on them

I hope you have a lovely day. We have another long one but a good one.

Love celi

56 Comments on “A Dalek to the rescue

  1. Beats bottle-feeding the little buggers… Animals are like that – not a quiet moment. And every year something happens you’ve never seen before, however long you’ve been farming or breeding or whatever. Good luck with everything. Xxx

  2. i’m so glad that some survived and hope they all continue to do so. they were so lucky to have you and your neighbor farmer around to help )

  3. How wonderful are your local lady farmers! Glad they have helped you with the resolution of the feeding problem. I am sure that at times like these you feel you need three heads and at least a dozen hands. Knowing you have genuine and knowledgeable support is a blessing. I hope the day is easier.

  4. I’m so happy that you have found a way to help feed the little piglets. When I read about how much work you have to do on the farm, I wish I could come over there and help you, but I am needed here with my family.I hope you get some help soon. I hope everything turns out good with all the little piggies.

  5. Women Farmers Rock! And long live Dalek Mamas! I love how this way the piglets can take their proper place in the Farmy scheme of things without (sorry!) hogging all your time 🙂

  6. Bless those women farmers. Fingers crossed for piglets and the farm as a whole. Whoever invented that contraption is a genius!

  7. Great that the Women Farmers just got down to it and sorted everything out. Good luck, if anybody can raise that litter of piggies it will be you. I have just discovered that I can ‘like’ your blog even though I don’t facebook 🙂 Laura

  8. Glad to hear you sound a little more positive this morning – I am sure yesterday was one of those days that you hope will never be repeated! As you say, we can only move forward and put one foot in front of the other to do so. Hope you get the impulse to put a little skip in that step soon!

  9. Please ..just tell me..HOW DO YOU DO IT?  How do you manage to go on day after day? How do you cope with all that you do without having a breakdown? How do you cope with the heartache? I am so pleased that the piglets have a Dalek mother and what wonderful neighbours you have. I think that somewhere between your shoulder blades you have a set of wings…Lots of Love  

    Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 1:20 PM

  10. Well that is a happier story, isn’t it? I am sure you are exhausted by now but maybe some of the worry is alleviated now with that amazing contraption as Kim referred to it! Where there is a will there is a way and you have a great support system! Yay for neighbors!

  11. Such a good report on the little piggies! Hopefully you can restore some normal today.

  12. Women farmers are the salt of the earth. Your challenges are huge, but you sure know what the deal is and you are so on it. Those little piggy would steal me away, I know..but I also know that your decisions are in the best interest of all.
    Wonderful neighbors, a farm environment that is never dull, your skill as a farmer…waiting to hear.

  13. After I saw your picture of the Dalek mother, I remember my father having one of those years ago on the farm. Kudos to the women famers who were able to help you out. Piglets bite indeed. We would lock the sow out of the shed and I got to catch piglets so my father could trim their teeth so they did not cut up the sow’s bag. Ditto when we neutered them. Much squealing and consternation on both sides of the door from Mama Pig and the babies!

  14. Wishing you the very best of luck or as they say here in France “Bon courage” or good courage.

  15. Yay for women farmers! And yay for amazing you. I’m going to remember your energy and use it to inspire me when I balk at sitting down to write (I’m actually procrastinating on that at this very moment). So sorry about Tahiti and the piglets, but glad the surviving ones seem to be doing okay.

  16. Community….. that is what a community brings – help and resources when in need. Yes, we all have chores/tasks and we struggle to balance when an emergency arises. Poor Tahiti is true, but her nature is fight. It was the same with Charlotte I remember – ornery mean pig after her first birth. But look at all you have learned and changed since those days? I have loved watching the growth and learning – and hard knocks have to be included in the love – they give us all balance right?

    • I’m with Deb too. I’m in awe of your energy and you are finding the best solutions for your little farmy. Much love, your Gayle

  17. Now while there was an episode where Daleks turned people into pig servants I can’t see them being kind to anything. But this one is doing a find job! Women farmers rock! morning miss c…. t

  18. So happy you have this sorted. Your instincts are your best guide. Absolutely. The Dalek is very sweet. In a rubbery, metallic kind of way.

  19. Phew! What a relief to know you have such wonderful, generous and thoughtful neighbours! As Pat Rousseau said above here, it’s all about community and yours seems to be working the way a community is meant to. Yesterday I was thinking that, put in the same situation as you were, I would have been quite overwhelmed, so seeing that ‘contraption’ today I was able to heave a great sigh of relief… it does look ingenious.
    I hope you have a lovely day too, Ms C, ~ Mame 🙂

  20. Great to see things have turned around so quickly. It’s such a relief to have wonderful neighbors ready to help during rough times. Take care.

  21. So now the saying should read, “It takes a community to raise a piglet”. So glad your community of lady farmers is there for you! Good luck with the Dalek, love the piglets.

  22. A heart warming story of co-operation and good neighbours. This is just one of the reasons that I’m so proud to be part of the farming community.
    Glad that things have settled down and the piglets are feeding well.

  23. Your wonderful supportive and helpful women farmer/ neighbors make me click the like button but today need “love” butyon. Hoping for the best possible outcome!

  24. Nothing like caring, experienced women farmers to come to the rescue with a Dalek Mama. I remember seeing one of those contraptions in my uncle’s barn but the teats were long gone and I never bothered to ask what it or the other odd items were. I’m so glad that things are looking up with the little ones. Tahiti had a big littler, 14 piglets, wow. I’m sure it’s quite a sight to see the piglets suckling from the Dalek Mama. Keep cool and get some rest.

  25. Wow! I have seen the sheep and goat kid feeding buckets with teats all around, but never a heated one. Great contraption. Lady Farmers do rock! Good luck with the littles. Do you have any of the spray for numbering their little tuschies? I have only used that on twin white goats that looked so similar I could never tell them apart.

  26. Thank goodness for helpful farmers, particularly women farmers. What a godsend that machine is! Keeping the old fingers crossed that they all make it!!

  27. Dalek feeder Mom! Aside from the thrills and chills of major dramas practically every single day of the week from this blog, we learn so much, we armchair farmers. What a wonderful woman to take the initiative to dig it out, call the feed store and have everything ready for you.

  28. I’m so grateful for your neighbors, as I’m sure you are, as I’m sure the piglets are for you. I’m glad you get a little reprieve from twelve feedings a day. Every two hours is hard enough for one little human. For seven little pigs…you’d nearly need to start again by the time you’d finished.

  29. That’s a much friendlier looking Dalek than most I have seen! I’m glad you have a viable feeding solution and I hope they all thrive and survive. What an ordeal you all have been through. They are cute little babies.

  30. Looked up artificial piglet feed here in Oz yesterday – had no idea of this artificial ‘mother’! What a wonderful neighbour: huge ‘thank you’ to her! I hope and trust that the worst of this episode in the farmy life is settling down. And had no idea you had to deal with the remnants of seven little bodies, thought it was five . . . . well, you yourself were afraid of all the consequences of a teenage pregnancy . . . am genuinely sorry for Tahiti, but fear and lack of comprehension must have taken over . . . there were just these little squirming bodies trying to get ‘at her’ and she freaked . . . a sad end

  31. I believe good neighbors are right near the top of the list of things to be thankful for. We once bought a fat (we thought) mare. She dropped a sweet colt outside in the mud. He struggled but couldn’t get up. I saw my neighbor down the road and yelled and she came running, no questions asked . Between us we got them in the barn and milked the colostrum from the mare, she even provided the baby bottle, and managed to feed it to the poor exhausted little guy. Yep, a good neighbor is priceless!

  32. Isn’t that something – both the kindness of neighbors and a friendly Dalek. Who knew one even existed. I think it safe to say that everyone here is hoping the little ones pull through. I know that you’re doing everything you can. Fingers crossed …

  33. Push on to the dawn. It is always darkest before that. Intrepid women farmers. Celebrate them

  34. A wonderful dalek feeder. And women farmers sure do rock. I’m so pleased that things have settled a bit for you Celi. You are always so busy 😃

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: