Nine Bouncing Baby Piglets

After the longest labour I have  experienced with a sow  (five hours) Poppy gave birth to her sixth piglet. After an hour of cycling them in and out of their box having a good drink so there were at least three on her at one time, I decided that she must be finished. It was almost 2am and we had been in the birthing chamber  since 7pm (with her beginning to pant) so I figured that must be all.

Surely the afterbirth would be next and Poppy and i were both exhausted so I went to bed leaving six well fed piglets feeding and their mother dozing. At 5am I finally gave in to the temptation to take out her water and more food and found nine piglets all bright eyed and bushy tailed. Nine. Clever girl.

When she heard me Poppy carefully got up – she does this in three stages, a small roll that scatters the piglets, then onto her belly, then heaving herself up. She went to her food corner and ate and ate, and drank and drank. I corralled all babies away from her feet and into the hot creep, removed the afterbirth,  replenished her water, filled her feed bowls to all-you-can eat level and  then waited with the babies.

Once she had finished her breakfast she turned back into the room and began to bark loudly and aggressively -calling for her piglets. I opened their creep and  they all came to the door of the creep and paused there, calling back to her- “here we are, we did not run away!” Little tiny dog nips to her big bark. They cautiously came out and ranged themselves at a distance from her watching and calling. Then Poppy went to her favourite wall, pushed stuff round for a second so they knew she was about to lie down there, then nose first she slowly lowered her enormous self onto her belly and as I exited the scene she was sliding her belly with its great full udder outwards going onto her side, legs were outstretched, head laid down and her call changed to the soft feeding sound that had them running for their own breakfast.

Soon I will go out to bring the cows in and start the milking. I milk in the other side of the barn but it is not far from her.  I make soft murmur sounds to the cows  just like I always do then turn the Gentle Milking playlist on loud just like I always do, and soon she ignores me again. This is why I keep the sows feed bowls full after the birth so she does not jump up to eat when she hears me she has a full belly.  In the weeks she has been in the barn I ignore her when I am milking and afterwards too – I train her to eat first in the morning, then she does not become agitated at milking time she knows those noises are not for her.

Once I am done with the milking  I will leave her and her babies quite alone for the whole day – this is very hard for me as you can imagine but for the first 24 hours the babies feed almost continuously.  If I see her up and about I will take the opportunity to top up her water and feed. But mostly the barn stays quiet and still.

It is raining. Of course it is raining – I am Late bringing the cows in this morning. It is quite dark. Hopefully the cows are waiting at the barn door.

I will take photos of the babies later today and do my usual EXTRA post if I get some good ones, though they have two red heat lamps in there which makes images look like they are all under murky water. So I might see you again later.

Have a lovely day.

celi

ps – image of Poppy from the day before yesterday – I was just too anxious to take photos yesterday!

 

42 Comments on “Nine Bouncing Baby Piglets

  1. Clever girl – both of you. Poppy for her excellent litter and good mothering, and you for training your animals so well they are happy to do what keeps them in calm good health. Looking forward to photos of all the babies and clever mama.

  2. Congratulations! 🎈
    It must be such a relief and so exciting too. 9 new additions to the farm family.

  3. how wonderful! Well done to Poppy and welcome to the Farmy to nine little piglets… Oh Happy Day!  

    Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 2:55 PM

  4. So happy that things are going well this time. And such an organized plan you have. I wonder how a novice pig momma owner would know to plan so well in advance.

  5. I am so happy all went well this time. I’m sure you are quite relieved even though it was a long labor. You do such a wonderful job of training your animals and understanding their needs that I wish you could teach farmers everywhere how to do it. I guess you do that with all the people that come to your farm and work. One mind at a time. I don’t know if a caring heart can be taught. Certainly hope so. I rarely comment as I know your time is so limited. But I always love coming here. Your kind heart is the draw.

    • Me too, as to rarely commenting, but I am most certainly here each day to follow the tails and tales of the kitchens garden. And celebrations are a great opportunity to check in and help spread the joy a little further. Hope you can slip a snooze into your routine at some point today, you must be exhausted. So a big ‘WELL DONE’ to both you and Poppy, and here’s hoping for a great litter of piggies all growing up as they should! Hope you have a lovely day too! ~ Mame 🙂

  6. Very happy to hear that everything went so well. I can only imagine your shock on going to sleep with six babies and waking up to nine. I’m guessing that is exactly how Poppy must have felt too. I’m looking forward to seeing your imaginative solution on containing this rumble of piglets during the cold that is coming. But I know you will succeed because you are a very remarkable and resourceful farmer, with the grace and heart of woman.

  7. Ditto to every single word above and then some. Congratulations to two wonderful Moms. When I read the caption for today I got goosebumps. I think we needed to hear this–I know I did. There is nothing in this world to cheer the ravaged soul than the birth of sweet, cherished creatures and Mothers who give their all in warmth and wisdom and love. Your description of Poppy’s actions bring tears to the eyes.

  8. Your little farmy must be bursting at the seams with so many cows, birds and now – if I’ve counted correctly – 21 piglets plus 4 sows and a boar! Congratulations!

  9. That is such great news and so beautiful written. I savored every word. I could feel the light and the dark and the heat lamps, I could hear the barks and the grunts and the murmurs. Perfect.

  10. Congratulations to you and Poppy. Fooled me, I thought 6 would be it. She sounds like she has good momma instincts. All’s right with the world.

  11. Oh so happy for you and for Poppy! I appreciate hearing about events that unfold graciously and without incidents. Bringing new life into this world is a wonder on itself and with your coordination and love, the event was smooth and marked as a beautiful moment in time on the Farmy. Wonderful description -thank you for sharing.

  12. Well, this is certainly good news! So glad that things went smoothly and may they continue to do so. especially the weather. A warm, dry spell would be welcome, I’m sure.

  13. Bravo, Poppy!! Bravo Celi!!! Welcome piglets!!! For all her Hop and Pop, your Poppy is a good mother. I’m sure it’s a relief that the arrival was calm and that things are staying that way with Poppy and her little ones. Have a beautiful day.

  14. If Poppy could only understand that the whole big wide world is cheering her and her little ones on. So makes up for other disappointments. Something to be said for an experienced ‘older’ mom . . . . good luck to all of you and may the weather behave as far as temperatures go whilst the bubs grow into toddlers . . .

  15. Wonderful news! I love your description of how Poppy moves, and sounds. I know how important those moves are, and how protective you must feel towards those little piggies. Am so glad all has gone smoothly, though you must be exhausted from the long labour.

  16. Can’t wait to see pictures of the little piglets! Big hoorays all around! Much love, your Gayle

  17. I’m so glad she’s a good mom. It certainly takes a huge burden off of you. But it also feels sort of like everything is right in the world that she is. ☺

  18. Wonderful Sunday news nine tiny new healthy piglets. I read this much earlier but was distracted by family visitors. Congratulations to all concerned, Poppy for being such a good mother, Manu for his part and especially to Celi for her love and caring of all the animals on the farm

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