Weaning without Whining

Of course it rained torrentially yesterday so Nick and I worked in the barn repairing and cleaning.

At one point Molly plonked herself right in front of me to watch what I was doing so I had a really good view of her teats and belly and immediately decided to wean her from her big voracious piglets. Nick and I moved things about a bit, I locked all the piglets into one side then opened her gate and without a word she followed me out into the driveway, across the grass ,  through another field and into the salad bar paddock that had a great big clean wallow, newly filled from all the rain.

She headed straight for the wallow and with a great sigh of relief had herself a really nice long bath without interruptions from children demanding food.

The piglets are eating well and no-one made any protests. piglets

There are plenty of buyers for them, so now they proceed to get a bit bigger and even stronger and almost all of them will be sold within a month.

From this:


To this:sow and piglets

In 27 days. Good mama. She raised all eleven beautifully – and even taught them to eat solid food so we could wean them a little early.

The sad news is that the smallest and weakest of the Rescue piglets has died last night.  She put up a good fight though poor wee girl.  But there are three very strong and rambunctious piglets surviving and one wobbly one. But the wobbly one can stand and drink with the others, lapping from the bowl and is getting stronger by the day. Though she may never be 100%. She is still undergoing piggy physio frequently throughout the day. The general consensus is that they both sustained spinal damage. I am hoping the wobbly one has only spinal bruising. No-one has had piglets who cannot walk before, for other breeders every piglet with this problem has died within hours from shock.

The littlist, who recovered from her hunched sick demeanor, terrible scours and started to walk well just the other day, is now trotting about and looks like a small tank. Her skin is all cleaned up and she is a most amusing little pig.

We should make T-shirts for these little girls. They are an incredibly determined bunch of wee pigs.  Shall we do a T shirt?  We have not had a T shirt for ages.

They are all well established on raw cows milk, are nibbling on grain and hay and their digestive systems are much cleaner and happier.

The relief is that now that they are all drinking from the bowl and I do not need to bottle feed the weakest one anymore,  I can go to one midnight top-up and get a good nights sleep.  Another few days and I can take that back to ten pm.

I will bring them out of the nursery and introduce them to you tomorrow.

More rain today evidently. The mud  here is beyond epic. I am fairly sure that Lady Astor’s mastitis (that is clearing) was caused by a speck of dried mud getting  into her teat canal.  To get to the barn they are slogging though a mire and there is no way around it without building a new gate – something I may have to do.  Sometimes I have to hose their legs down before milking.

OK – work time for me!

Have a lovely day

Love celi



29 Comments on “Weaning without Whining

  1. Good news, sad news, all part of Farmy life. I’m relieved to hear your broken nights will be less broken soon. I would love to see another photo of the piglet Not Called Elfie.

  2. Good morning to all on the Farmy, Human and Animal. We have not seen recent photos of the famous Miss Sheila! I suppose her popularity has made her a little Star Like. What a Beautiful Girl. Do you have any T-shirts with Sheila’s image on it available? If so, how much? I would like one. I think the “Girls Three” little fighters, would make a good T-shirt image as well. Thanks for this wonderful blog!!!!!

    • We did have Sheila T shirts. I will see if they are still loaded in the program that prints the shirts for me and see if we can re-release those too. Sheila is very well down the back under her tree, she is up to her usual tricks pretending to be deaf when I take visitors down to see her.

  3. I say YES to the t-shirts! I still have my Sheila t-shirt and LOVE it! You know me… it’s functional and practical. And… Sheila is now famous in this area of Oklahoma as every time I’ve worn it in public people ask who she is!! 😀

  4. I vote yes for a t-shirt to celebrate the little girls! Like Kate, I would love to see Not Called Elfie too.

  5. That last photo of Molly and her littles is precious! She is an inspired mama. Sorry to hear about the loss of the little rescue piggie, but these babies had a better shot on your farm than on most.

  6. Molly has those piggy eyes that are so expressive. Good to hear about Lady A and that she is better. MUD MUD MUD – this is the year of MUD farming here too. Friends gardens are moldy and not producing. No Okra to be had from my friends – sad for me. I’ll just have to buy the frozen or go without.

    Yes – a T-shirt would be fun. My Sheila shirt always gets huge laughs when I wear it.

  7. clever Molly..she knew how to show you what she needed… Shame about little pig  ..but hey ho..thats life  

    Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 1:33 PM

  8. No doubt Molly is sighing with relief now! She definitely needed a break. And her babies look super healthy! I do hope the rest of the rescue pigs make it! Looking forward to seeing pictures of them! 🙂

  9. A t-shirt is definitely in order.

    Truly, when it rains, it pours. We don’t get rain for a month at a time, and then all we get is rain.

  10. Way to go, Molly! Bet at first she thought she’d been given a spa day. Surprise, Molly! No empty nest syndrome for her. Incredible that you were able to bring those rescue piglets along as far as you have. If t-shirts are to be made, count me in for one. 🙂

  11. So many life lessons on a farm, including (and most instructive for me) the role of the dedicated farmer / nurturer / all-around life-curator. To participate in the conception, birth, and flourishing of nature, both plants and animals, and at the same time to live with drought or flood, disappointment or loss, without cursing — what a blessing! What a lesson.

  12. Molly doesn’t need any stair-stepping down from nursing so many piglets? Is that because they’re already on feed or just how pigs go?

  13. You can see from the look in Molly’s eye in the header shot that she is tired, so I’m glad her fine, healthy and quite large piglets could be weaned so easily. What a good mom she has been. Also happy to hear that the remaining rescue piggies are coming along…though sorry about losing the one. What a good mom you have been. 🙂

  14. Ohh I bet that was bliss for Molly cooling down her poor teats. 😀 Shame about the little piglet losing her battle.

  15. you are AWSOME! Sad for the wee little piggy- but she was cared for so tenderly and loved for her short life-
    YES to a piggy T-shirt! I’ll order a few for sure!

  16. Pingback: Weaning without Whining | thekitchensgarden – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  17. I love my Sheila Tee and I know the new wee ones would look adorable on one. Count me in! Molly must be sooooo happy!

  18. Women Farmers Rock + Survivor Piglet T-shirts ♡ Adult & kid sizes. I’d love to buy one for my niece.

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