PIGLET PICTURES AS WINTER DESCENDS

PIglets in a second but first I was watching the blowing snow through the green of the glasshouse as I watered the plants being grown for summer consumption. It is an interesting lesson in the juxtaposition of seasons.  Spring piglets in the barn. Snow in the fields. 

Side by side spring and winter struggle for dominance this year.

And winter keeps winning.

Poppys seven babies are still poddling along.

These shots were taken under their red light with me in the straw outside their creep door. They are a very friendly group. I think because of my constant presence in their first twelve hours.

We are going to have a lot of pictures of snouts with this litter.  They do not stand back at all.  In fact, despite the cold, they have begun to play and are often underfoot.  They have two more high-risk days. By Day Four I begin to relax a little. We are now entering Day Three.

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Something like 70% of piglet losses are in the first 24 hours so their chances are already much better.  But there are two that seem smaller. I am staying clear except for that morning clean up time.  Keeping an eye on the monitor. Poppy is very relaxed which is good and she is feeding them about every hour. They are still running out to drink then peeling off and immediately returning to the warm creep when they are finished. So the chances are they will catch up.  But it is possible that the littlist ones are feeding less because of the cold. I am not sure. But they are all feeding often so that is a good thing.

I have to deal with one problem though – that is with Poppy sticking her head right through the baby door, effectively blocking them in. She is trying to get her face under their heat lamp. Then she will call them to come out for a drink and they have to climb over her fbarking ace and squeeze out the little gap left in the door to get to her udder.

Seeing her get out is quite the dangerous comedy as she has to wriggle and clamor about like a trapped seal squirming backwards before she can lift her head up and out.  Somehow she has forced some movement in that bar in front of their doorway, the one I had John build specifically to combat this problem. Somehow she is giving herself an extra inch or so of play in the bar.  I will work on it today.

The piglets grow fast – they should double their weight in the first week or so, which means that I have to find a way to stop this today.  But as problems go this one is half fixed because I can identify it.  Once a problem is seen clearly in all it’s components it is easier to create a solution.

The day has dawned already at the forecast high, which does not bode well for today. The next 48 hours will be very cold for piglets and people. I am glad they have two days of growing, literally under their belts.

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I used my phone to capture these images.  I am going to clean Camera House today and charge him up. I need more clarity.

I hope you have a lovely day.

celi

Friday 04/06 0% / 0 in
Cloudy and becoming windy. High 37F. Winds NW at 20 to 30 mph.

Friday Night 04/06 0% / 0 in
Partly cloudy skies. Near record low temperatures. Low 19F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Sun
6:28 am 7:23 pm

Moon
Waning Gibbous, 67% visible 12:40 am 10:34 am

40 Comments on “PIGLET PICTURES AS WINTER DESCENDS

  1. Growing up we raised sheep who would go into heat and have babies at all times of the year. There is so much headache and heartache when these little animals come in the cold.

    • Sometimes I do miss Mama my big sheep. She would always have her babies on the coldest nights at the most inconvenient times and always FOUR. . Tonight we are approaching a record LOW for this area in this month. Who knew. however so far they are doing ok. Tonight will be the decider.

  2. Those baby faces are full of life and determination. I know they’re still so fragile and sensitive to cold and stress at that age, but if the will to live is any decider, they’re going to make it. I’m amazed at the sight of those huge flakes falling softly outside the glasshouse full of tender green life. What a contrast…

  3. They will be strong little buggers…surviving winter in their first days. That’s something to be proud of. Your greenhouse makes me a wee bit envious. Hmmmm. I’ll try to keep that in check.

  4. Yes, the glass house full of plants ready for the garden looks wonderful!!! Come on Spring!!!!!!
    Our dilemma, with our 4 day old triplet goat babies, is that last night after spending their first night, a warm night outside with mama at 44 degrees, is whether to bring them all back inside tonight as the temp will be 28 degrees. I’m thinking that we will, as mama has been happy to see them all each morning of the nights they’ve spent indoors, and they are all nursing.

    • Do you have coats for them? I put coats on my lambs when we hit bad weather and it made all the difference – though 28 is not too bad once they are a few days old .

      • I had not thought of that! I’ve got some coats for our German Shorthair Pointer that might fit. I will absolutely try them on the babies! Thank you!!!

          • I would love to have that pattern Celi! We have one more mama who is due to kid any day now! No doubt it will be on our coldest day/night, anytime between tonight and until Monday night. Then I think, hope, that Spring will be back to stay!

  5. Send us your snow, send us your snow, we’d love to have it for a few days! Would it be possible to rig a hot lamp up on Poppy’s side just further back from the creep entrance, that way the littlies would also be warmer while feeding? Laura

    • I thought along those lines for a moment too but 1. we don’t want the babies to sleep out there and 2. she is very tall and for a heat lamp to be any use when she is lying down it would be too low – she would pull it down and burn the barn up with her and her babies in it. and 1. again the last thing we need is sleeping tiny babies under her feet when she stands up after feeding them. This is why I have a warm creep and a cool Mama – then they drink and run.
      I have found the problem though and am working on the solution now. c

  6. Your tomatoe plants look great and ready for the ground. I admit that I squeal a little (on the inside) at each piglet picture. Do you Poppy is warming her face or wants to smell/keep track of her babies. I will be interested to hear about your fix for the problem. Piglet sweaters which are checked at the door of the creep, on and off, ad infinitum. Ha

  7. Keeping my fingers crossed for those babies and their mama. It’s time for some warm in your part of the country. It’s warm enough here but just cloudy and wet. Love the shots of the babies and the birds.

  8. Such sweethearts! You make me want pigs and piglets! What does one do with all the piglets, though? Bacon? Auction?

  9. I’d love to take the grand tour of the inside of your greenhouse. It looks so wonderfully healthy and clean! Good luck with your resolutions and solutions for the piggy gang!

  10. I wish I knew where in Chicago your pork is served, as I’d love to eat kindly-treated pork again.

    • The latest is an eatery called tribecca in the revival food court. I think I have those names right. In a couple of weeks they will be serving ham from our hogs. They have only just opened.

  11. The piglets are adorable. I spotted a cardinal about a week ago, wish morher nature would figure out that it should be spring.

  12. Great looking plants in your greenhouse. Warmth is an issue. You can’t blame Poppy for wanting to get some of that warmth but you’ve got to make sure baby piggies get to food and back to their warm nursery while they’re still so vulnerable. Best of luck.

  13. Pingback: PIGLET PICTURES AS WINTER DESCENDS — thekitchensgarden – monologuesofcolour

  14. Truly awesome post, so glad those babies are doing so well considering the cold.. you have done a outstanding job working with what you have. boy do those plants look good, ok.. that’s it, I am planting some seeds this weekend.. Must plant seeds..

  15. o-m-g cuteness overload! we’re striding into a delightful spring here in Los Angeles. alas, no piggies…

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