Yesterday I mentioned that I was concerned that the piglets were not showing the usual amount of vigor. These ones were spending way too much time sleeping. They were way too quiet.
valbjerke said to me had I given the piglets iron. I sat back in my chair. No. I hadn’t. The only time I gave piglets iron was when I had all that trouble with Tahitis piglets. I don’t inject iron as a matter of course. But I never have had piglets this lethargic either.
I sat and watched the blinking curser beside the message and remembered that Molly was eating everything before she gave birth- her behaviour was not normal – she devoured everything – she must have been short of iron and her body was sending her looking. Her diet of deep greens, eggs and alfalfa and grains should have met this. It was the best I could do. She had a yard of soil. I was positive I had covered all the dietary bases – I am so careful of that. But there you are. Maybe the babies were born anaemic.
I pushed the chair back from the table and went to work.
I got out the bottle of iron from my farm cupboard of all things and got out the needles, collected Alex, went to the barn, the piglets were sleeping as usual, I locked Molly out in the field and we loaded all the piglets into a tote and gave each one a shot before returning them to bed. They screamed and squawked and bit but they are so small they are really easy to manage.
After the procedure was over, I settled them all back in their sleeping creep and let their entirely unconcerned mother back in.
The change was dramatic. By lunchtime they were up and running around the pen. (check the insty below) Literally bouncing about. Drinking voraciously. All over the place. Noisy. These piglets had been anaemic. Poor wee things. Let’s hope this was enough to get them going. Lets hope they can catch up and start putting on some weight.
This is quite possibly why the one died on his first night – he was too tired to move.
Once again – The Fellowship to the rescue. And valbjerke: thank you for the reminder about iron. I am grateful. I will do that with them all from now on. Just in case.
And thank you to the Fellowship of the Farmy for being such clever and open hearted, that people who know stuff feel safe and comfortable in sharing it.
And we all get to learn. Lesson learned.
Now fingers crossed.
Have a lovely day.