Lady Astor and I go through this thing – with me changing my mind every eighteen hours about her status as a pregnant Mum.
Today I don’t think she is pregnant. I mean: her udder did look like it was changing but now there is nothing filling up. Was I seeing something I wished to see? And I think I felt her calf kick me but now there is just the usual wash of internal gastric movement.
She is quiet, and patient with me leaning on her, but by now she should really be properly barrel shaped. And she really is not. She is eating plenty. She has under a month to go.
But there you are – it is all part of the farming game – and if she is not pregnant that is ok too. I will send the pair of them (Aunty Del too) off to a bull and take the summer off from milking.
Alex is a bit of a barrel but always is.
The piglets came out once yesterday to play in the sun. But I am still not pleased with them. They sleep too much. Do not feed enough. Do not play enough.
They do not look anaemic – their eyes are bright and they are pink and healthy, even shiny. But they are slow to fill out. And Molly is eating her lactation Mama diet and just getting fat actually. I think this is a slow group. Let’s hope that is all that is and that they will begin to feed more often soon. I have opened up their dining area and set out solid feed for them, and I have added the iron and kelp supplements to the dirt clods that sit in there with the water.
This piglet had to be rescued she was jammed in there behind that post, fast asleep, with her brother in behind her and one underneath. None of them were bothered. None of them wriggling with discomfort. Just passed out. Slow.
Alex has begun to build a Mt Poovius (his words) in the rat house paddock. He starts on the chook house today. He is a finisher. He enjoys tasks he can complete. Many farm tasks are cyclic or puzzle solving or repetitive and he is good at these too but his satisfaction comes from finishing a job like the Rat House and then shutting the door.
I am plugging away in the glass house and garden. Happy. Sowing these beautiful Open Pollinated seeds. I make little packets of seeds up and give them away to my friends so they can sow a few, then later in the summer they will collect the seeds and give some back to me and keep some for themselves and share with others. That is the theory anyway.
We have a new girl, Ellie, coming on Sunday. The work will start to fly by then. I have no international wwoofers booked for this summer which will be a first.
We had a couple of productive sunny days and now the rain is back. The wind is shifting to the East – not a piglet friendly (their home opens to the East) but the wind will not be strong. There is more rain than sun in the forecast and no really warm weather – I am thinking of buying more hay again. Which, as you know, makes me want to spit.
When it rains Our John does not work, so he has a list of farm jobs too, when he is not hiding in his workshop.
I hope you all have a lovely day.
Oh those crazy little piggies!! Always fun to watch when they are little newborns!!! the way they play ~ the way they sleep!! Enjoy your day!!!
Fingers crossed for the piglets – I suppose some litters might be naughtier and more energetic than others 🙂
I dunno, I look at that photo of Lady A and think she’s got a fairly substantial belly on her… I’m glad the piglets are a little more active, I suppose we have to allow them a bit more time to come up to full liveliness. There’s a very good book by Pat Coleby called Natural Farming, I don’t know if you have it already, but in it, she discusses the importance of soil health and minerals, and how to rectify deficiencies to bring your crops and livestock up to peak health. It’s aimed at Australian primary producers, because in general our soils are ancient, thin and poor, but the message applies equally to land that has been systematically robbed by broadacre farming. She’s written several other books on animal husbandry in the same vein.
I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the piglets. As for international Woofers, travel into the US seems to be turning into a nightmare. Maybe that has something to do with it. Just a guess on my part.
You may well be right about travel into the U.S. this year holding back international Wwoofers. I read a short time ago that tourism is massively reduced because of the situation.
It’s just sad what has happened. Maybe some will finally wake up.
As my Granny used to say … be careful what you wish for 🙂 Poppy may still birth 13 wild hooligans. I am still hoping slow may just be placid and content. I too think that travel restrictions into the US will influence your summer wwoofers. Laura
Those piglets are a puzzlement. From the photos they look fine, but the slowness and sleepiness seem odd. Maybe Lady A is just being mysterious about being pregnant. It seems Saturday is going to be quite warm, mostly sunny and breezy. The roof here is now dealt with and the work shifts to the damage inside from all the water. From the look of things up there my spouse is saying the problem was caused by the contractor chintzing on materials, using the smallest nails possible as though the whole roof was thumbtacked, no wonder it blew half off and folded over. The next couple days will certainly be a test of whether the repairs are okay. Have a lovely day and stay dry.
Already we are looking at the skies and hoping for rain. And wondering what weather this spring and summer will bring. Had to water the garden beds for the first time yesterday. So hoping that we have a wet spring!
Man, I’d love to send my daughter over to help out … the eldest, not the youngest. Don’t see it happening this year. 😦
I hope the piglets are ok and just maybe more laid back than what you are used to. Fingers crossed anyway.
Why no international wwoofers this year?
my hope is that these little piggies begin to be more active- it must be very worrisome for you.
Is Molly producing enough milk? Just a thought. Alex has a great sense of humor. I am like him. I like to finish things and move on, doesn’t always happen, but it is my preference. Have a great day!
Fingers crossed for the progress of your piggies. I always seem to step cautiously into your blog when one or more of your animals is struggling. It seems like not milking this year would be a disaster! You do so enjoy and depend on the milk production for so much coming out of your kitchen. I do hope at least one of those ladies is expecting and would have been sort of ideal if they were expecting any day now. So sad that’s not the case. Hope you have a lovely day too. ~ Mame 🙂
Mt Poovius… 😄 a sense of humour is useful thing for a farmer.
To change the subject slightly, I just looked at your blog hits in the lower right corner and you’re almost at 1.9 million! Holy smoke, woman! And, yet, no surprise, you have given us so much to interact with over the years. (Thank you!) Soon you will be at 2 million. We will have to have a party, then. (I’m sorry about the sluggish piggies, but I am going to cross my fingers and wait and hope.)
Holding my breath for your piglets, too. Life is so fragile.
LOL you sound like me. My goat was due on April 6th, and each day that goes past I wonder if she is, or is not pregnant. My mare delivered last Saturday right on schedule, but the goat is holding out and being secretive! Goats!
I know nothing about pigs, but if they were human babies I would wonder if they were early? Premature human babies are slow and sleepy until they catch up a bit. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of that, when you were counting the days?
Just wondering on the piglets, did the sow have trouble during birth? We had a ewe give birth 6 days ago, and when we found her she was pretty exhausted (it was during a 5 hour stretch that me and my wife were both away from the farm). The lamb was also weak and exhausted, needed help to stand and nurse. He was so clumsy that I ended up nicknaming him “Tippy” he fell over so much. We were not exactly optimistic about his chances to say the least. However, slowly, he rallied, and he seems to be well on his way (though he still is a bit “behind” the other lambs his age).
Could it be that the lack of iron and sheer exhaustion is whats making them slow? I will admit that my knowledge of pigs is, sparse to say the least. But perhaps they just need more time to recover.
Good point. And I was not there for the birth as she had them (after showing no signs of imminent birth) in the middle of the night without me – so it is quite likely – today they are rallying for sure – so you may well be right.. c
So many uncertainties. You are correct, it really is a game and we just roll with it, whatever it is we end up with. 🙂
They look beautiful, hats-off.
Ah he likes hiding in his workshop! Hopefully those little piglets will be good as gold ..slow starters. Isn’t it great having help from enthusiastic people? Yay! Have a love,y day Celi