Poppy had a very slow start. One wild live baby, one dead (long dead) one then a bad time where I had to go in and bring out the piglet who was stuck, so now there were two. Then one more dead one. Then Poppy got up and had some dinner and lay back down and went to sleep. After the Two had had a long drink and warmed up (wrapped in my jacket under the heat lamp while their mother ate and drunk) I waited for her to lie back down then returned them to their mother. Then retreated.
Only two I said to John who was reading his IPad and wondering about dinner.
I went out and did chores, feeding the chickens and the little pigs and the cows and the big pigs while John made dinner. Popping in on Poppy every now and then. All three were sleeping. \
An hour had passed.
Then while I helped in the kitchen, Poppy popped out five more babies about 30 minutes apart. I could see all this happening on the baby monitor. But Poppy’s head was heavy, she was having trouble – I could see this. Twice she tried to get up but could not as the babies fed on regardless. At one point a baby got caught under her head and I raced out and raised her very heavy head to release the wee piglet. Poppy’s head plopped back down.
She passed masses of placenta.
6.30. I herded all the little ones into the heated creep. I shut them in there. I cleaned up the placenta and another unformed dead piglet. I forced Poppy to get up. Eating and drinking helps. In the course of the next two hours I did this four more times to train the piglets where the warmth was but making sure they got lots of milk. But after the first two times Poppy was not getting. I can hear her on the monitor not even ten minutes later calling them back out for a drink which is good. They need to be almost constantly drinking in the first few days. After an hour when they fell asleep around her legs. I put them back into the warmth. Poppy was still shaking – not from cold though. I think from trauma. She looks huge – her legs sticking straight out.
She was shaky and cold a couple of weeks ago remember?
8pm I fed Poppy cinnamon buns straight into her mouth and covered her in straw for warmth – leaving her belly open for the babies who were sleeping under the heat lamps. She called them out for a drink.
(Molly did this once. Do you remember? She did not get up much for the first 48 hours. So I will give Poppy the right to heal herself.
8.39. I let her sleep. And I left the babies asleep on their heated mat in the box with the heat light right at their entrance and let everyone sleep for a while.
8.45 She calls them all out again for a drink. Though she herself has not changed position. She barks her song and out they all putter out. I go out to check that they are all drinking. It is cold and blowing snow, cold.
9. 44 poppy calls her babies – they are all drinking – it is blowing cold – she has been up had a feed and a good drink of water laced with molasses and changed sides and they are all drinking with vigour even the wee fellow who had been trapped under her head. He is small and looks a bit drunk but he is out there.
10.14 – I collect them from little huddles around the pen and bring them into the creep for a warm up and after a while she calls them back out for hot food in the belly!
10.40 everyone back into the warm cfreep for a sleep – Poppy rolls over and goes to sleep herself.
Midnight. 2am and 4am. The same. Each time I find them sleeping and gather them up and walk them to the warm creep. Their bellies feel full.
It snowed last night and the wind picked up – the worst it has been in a while.
It is 6am now. I am tired and aching. This time I will have a hot shower and dress before I go out into this awful morning.
It was a wicked night – the doors blowing and the snow flying. If I left them out in that drafty frozen pen they would have been dead by morning.
So there have not been many photos – actually no photos – and not much sleep either. But the seven are all alive so far and Poppy, though a bit rugged, has heaps of milk and is much brighter by this early morning.
I am not even going to go back over this post to check this for sense.
After a hot shower, I am going to go out and feed everyone – go through my little routine with the babies then try to catch a little more sleep. It is 26F. Cold.
Wednesday 04/04 60% / < 1 in
Windy with on and off snow showers during the morning. High 38F. Winds WNW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 60%.
Wednesday Night 04/04 0% / 0 in
Some clouds. Low 24F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
6:31 am 7:21 pm
Waning Gibbous, 84% visible 11:45 pm 9:13 am