The rise and fall of pig coats

Molly is very uncomfortable. These last few days she does not lie down, standing or pacing about all day. At night she is sleeping but no nest making or sign of milk  yet. We go for a walk every day, it is too close to her confinement period to leave her outside but when we go for her walk she eats that emerging grass as fast as she can.

You can see that her hair is still falling out. This usually happens when it gets hot and is happening to Poppy as well. I have added more kelp to their diets but it is not uncommon for them to lose hair when they are pregnant.

They are both on a well designed vegetarian pig food (Sow and Pig by Purina) plus two boiled eggs a day and greens and kelp and dried molasses. We still have to be careful not to over feed though. Those babies will be growing fast now.

I am not sure what is going on with the hair. It is certainly not hot. Tima also loses patches of hair on occasion.  All the breeders I know say this happens sometimes and we are not sure why. I think it is from hormonal changes. The boars do not go patchy.

Even the cows lose the odd small patch of hair now and then.

People hair tells us a lot about our health and hormonal well being. Some women get more hair when they are pregnant, some women lose hair. Thick glossy hair is equated with health. When women of all ages encounter hormonal changes we often grow extra fly away baby hairs, which are very annoying actually.

Pig hair comes and goes through the seasons so I hope Molly does not get too cold over the next few days.

It always grows back.

Tane – not pictured here – did a funny thing yesterday. For his bad back, every morning,  I make up a collection of his supplements, two turmeric, two tablets of the bone and joint supplement and his baby aspirin this all goes into a little medicine cup . I said to Alex: I will show you how I give this to him so you can take over.

We walked out into the field to the kunekune pigs. Usually Tane just puts his head back and opens his cavernous mouth and I pour all the pills quickly into his mouth. He chews and swallows. No problem at all. However while I was showing Alex what is usually a deft swipe of the hand as I drop them into his mouth – avoiding the teeth and tusks –  the pig rose up slightly and grabbed the whole plastic cup and ate the lot. Cup, pills and all. We watched in horror as he cracked and chewed and smashed  his way through the plastic. He sat down and crackled and chewed some more. Nothing we could do. We looked at each other and raised questioning  eyebrows –  then we heard a small thwack. Tane had spat out the completely chewed and flattened plastic cup.  No sign of the pills, just the smashed little medicine cup slightly stained from the turmeric, left lying in the grass. The little boar hauled himself up and limped off.

Hmm, said Alex. A mini trash compactor.

There is a lot of rain forecast for tomorrow then the cold and snow so all the cows go back into the yards for the next few days to save the pastures from damage.

Yesterday Alex tidied and cleaned the glasshouse completely so we can fit more seed trays in there.

Today Alex and I will drive out for feed and supplies. Then back to work shoveling the winter out of the barns and sheds.

Good morning. I have had dough rising overnight – I have time to get it ready for the oven before we start chores. I do not pay my volunteers but I do like them to eat very well.  An army marches on it’s stomach you know.

I hope you have a lovely day.


23 Comments on “The rise and fall of pig coats

  1. Tane had at least something to chew on for a while, Like chewing gum made of plastic. Mini trash compactor indeed. 🙂 At least he was smart enough to spit it out. Poor Molly is probably ready to be done with this. Things happen when you least expect them. Keeping my fingers crossed for her and you. I know the phrase of the Army marching on it’s stomach very well. 🙂 We saw the sun for the first time yesterday but without the clouds, it was a bit chilly. The sun was so wonderful though. Wishing you a wonderfilled day.

  2. Interesting about the pigs losing hair! Our Gloucestershire Old Spots haven’t experienced this so far. Their hair is extremely strong and bristly, and looks less thick than your girls. I’ve been wondering if Our John planted his tiny seedlings at the West barn, and if so, are they making it? We’ve got our garden half planted already, and the greenhouse is full of tomatoes and peppers and eggplants just waiting to go in, in about 2 weeks. We’ve had such a warm winter, and have been getting the beds ready to go and planting since February! Can’t wait to starting picking from the garden! 🙂

  3. Just goes to show, pigs are rather dainty eaters. I’m enjoying the image of Tane chewing up his medications all around the plastic cup, and then carefully spitting it out. I think he must have a rather sophisticated palate!

  4. Oh that is funny about Tane and the pill cup. He was showing off to Alex…. Trash Compactor! HA! As for that rooster – my what lovely DRUMSTICKS!!!! My favorite piece of chicken!

  5. How strange…first pigs losing coat and the  a Tima eats a plastic cup…. what a weird world  but its fascinating.  

    Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2017 at 2:26 PM

  6. Cup and all huh? That’s hilarious. And then to toss the cup back. Too funny – that’s my kind. You know I tend to lose my hair in the winter here at the Hotel Thompson. Every year – without fear – it starts to go. And it’s really spiny feeling – you know what I’m talking about? And then come spring, it all grows back nice and plush. Mom calls that time my hibernation period. I don’t do much but eat, sleep, pee/poop and repeat. XOXO – Bacon

  7. my comment went AWOL.. sigh. So pleased Tane did not ingest plastic cup as well. Laura

  8. Hi C. The Red Cell I mentioned yesterday that I give my goats and dogs is a vitamin-iron-mineral supplement…it says for all classes of horses on the label and there is a canine version as well. I’m not sure if it would help with the pigs’ coats or not but I would give it a try. It sure helps with my goats’ coats when they get patchy and or any other kind of off condition. Check with your vet and see if he/she might recommend giving it a shot. Maybe there’s something in the grass that she is craving that might be included in the Red Cell. My dogs sometimes eat dirt, that I’ve heard has some kind of a mineral in it that they are lacking. It’s hard to know…or they could just be dirt eating dogs..I prefer to call it a nice mineral rich soil/supplement. 🙂

  9. ‘ A mini trash compactor’, I love it. Maybe I should follow suit when taking my morning pills and have a gentle chew on the cup. I really need something to add a little vitality to my life. 😉

  10. I love that beautiful shot with Tima and the cock – the light/shadow relation is caught so very well. – And what a funny story with that Tane… :-)) Can so imagine how you both have been standing there watching… Haha. Great.

  11. I can’t speak to pigs or cows when it comes to hair – but as I age I find those fine blonde hairs creeping from the back of my neck around my jawline! I’m also getting a bit of a moustache. I’m not vain but I’ll be dammed if I’ll have a bunch of bristly black hairs coming out of my lip!

  12. Celi, here in NZ, when cows start losing their coat, farmers give them zinc… I also take zinc to make sure my hair and nails are in good nick, and while my broken leg is still healing, my natural health practitioner always mentions zinc… hope this could be useful and you find it among the plethora of comments !!!!

  13. Took me nearly the entire post to realize which Alex you were talking about. I am so used to the animals being your companions!

  14. That’s too funny, eating the cup and all. I just came in from saving Percy. He and Winston the donkey were conversing through the fence (a cattle panel) and Percival hooked his tusk on the fence. I flew out there as the decibel level of his screams was unbelievable. He wasn’t panicked and pulling, just standing still and screaming. I did manage to push his rather large sausage shaped body forward while pushing his head down to unhook him. The screaming immediately stopped, no damage seems to have been done but my ears are still ringing!

  15. Hey Celi .. how interesting that the pigs lose hair when pregnant. And what about Tane ..? Spat out the plastic .. well done. Love the shot of the rooster .. so handsome. A lovely day to you too ..

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