PORCINE SLEEP DEPRIVATION

When I was a Mum of little babies I used to moan my arse off about having no sleep. Baby got me up TWICE or even God Help Us FOUR times in the night. I would cry. Poppy  the sow feeds her piglets every hour – almost ON the hour. But she does it with her eyes closed. Though woken multiple times a night she just lies there and calls out to them or the babies run across honking breathily and awake her – they have a drink, fighting and pushing and squealing – then put themselves back to bed. I think that is the trick. We need to train our human babies to be more independent. Maybe not the squealing though.  But definitely the putting themselves back to bed and immediately to sleep.

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The piglets are sleeping under their double lights for these cold nights and look how they sleep. Laid out and relaxed.  They did well last night. Lots of drinking and lots of sleeping and from what I could see on the monitor all seven came out every time and drunk for a good period then zoomed back into the warm creep.

I moved Poppy’s straw and shavings bed right across the room into the corner and gave her more straw and shavings then made the area around the creep doorway very uncomfortable to lie in.  I also did some repairs to the bar that runs across the front of the tiny creep doorway protecting the opening from the sow.  I  hoped this would solve the problem of her blocking the baby door with her head.

It seemed to have worked. Feeding time went smoothly through the night.  No babies screaming to get past her head blockage to the udder.

One of the most important things I can do for Poppy now is have a supply of good food in her bowl all the time.  The quality of her food has a direct link to weight gain in the babies.  She is breastfeeding seven babies after all and is making milk constantly.  And in this cold (actually always)  it needs to be good milk. She needs lots of protein.

Having food always available keeps her very relaxed.  There is no jumping up when she hears someone approaching.  No hunger.  She is well fed for the whole time she is feeding.

Yesterday afternoon, she had sprouted field peas, chicken noodle soup and eggs and melon in her wet bowl and a mix of sow and pig vegetable based hog feed and my four grain mix in her big dry bowl.

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She is the most relaxed I have ever seen her this time.

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These next two images are not quite in focus. (But I liked the light and this is my blog and I know you don’t care).  It is nice to be using Camera House again though. My big camera recovers fast from each shot.  My own manual focus reflex has become lazy though.  Camera House is an old scratched up trusty D90 for those of you who are new.  And we have a lot of new readers lately – you are all most welcome.

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But this one is in focus.  Boo.

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I did not put that squeaky toy under BooBoo’s chin. He put it there himself. Below is the instagram post where he was playing with his pet pig.  Mr Pink.   He scorns non squeaky toys – he gives them no time at all. TonTon, on the other hand,  hates all toys and has no time for such flippant behaviour. Sometimes he will take Boos toys out of the room and leave them elsewhere. Then come back to the fire looking smug. Maybe he does not like the squeak.

Because today is boring. Said Boo. #dog #squeakytoys #dogs #humour #thekitchensgardendotcom

A post shared by Cecilia BW Gunther (@cecilia_thekitchensgarden) on

This should play for you. Just for a little fun.

I hope you have a lovely day.

It is 18F/-7C as I write in the stillness of a cold dawn.  I will go and check my little ones and let you know in the comments how they fared. But the fuzzy feed of the baby monitor tells me they did OK.

celi

WEATHER: A little sun!! Cold again tonight though. Is this the last cold night I wonder?

Saturday 04/07 0% / 0 in
Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 38F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday Night 04/07 0% / 0 in
A clear sky. Low 21F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

Sun
6:26 am 7:24 pm

Moon
Waning Gibbous, 58% visible 1:32 am 11:20 am

 

 

56 Comments on “PORCINE SLEEP DEPRIVATION

  1. I am so happy to see the pig family thriving & getting through your brutal cold without troubles. I love the photo of Boo snoozing with his own piggy. Isn’t that bossy Ton taking his toys away? When I had multiple dogs, Lucy, the grande dame, (spaniel mix) would collect everyone else’s toys, all of them, & pile them up in her bed, including a red rubber telephone as if she expected all the calls, & I would have to remove & scatter them back around as no other doggy would hazard a grab.

  2. For Poppy’s wet bowl, I’d consider feeding some piglets myself! She is one very well fed mama. And your clip of Boo and his squeaker had me snorting with laughter. He’s such a big softie!

  3. It’ is good to see Boo’s playful side. Such a little squeaky pig for him to be on his back using all of his legs for what? Ha ha! Dogs are such a joy and comfort.
    What a relief to see mama and babies are doing so well. Hopefully, your weather will improve to make things a bit easier on everyone. Poppy’s food looks delicious! You certainly put a lot of thought and effort into nutrition. I wish humans were as thoughtful about what they put into their bodies.

    • Yes – he has a very strange popping action as he plays . He kind of explodes up and up again. The weather will be bad again tonight then slowly rise. Lets hope. i don’t want to lose any more piglets ..

      • It’s a rough day even for us in the South. All of our fruit trees are or have blossomed and most trees have leafed out, and last night blew in an Arctic front that brought freezing drizzle. I can only imagine the magnitude of even worse conditions up there. They’re saying tonight is the last of it here… after that we climb back up to 60’s and 70’s and by next week even the 80’s. I’m SO ready for winter to be gone! Those piglets ought to be a strong, vibrant lot to make it through this tough beginning!

  4. I’m with TonTon. Squeaky toys make the music in hell. Of course, Boo is so adorable it’s hard to think too badly of the noise. 🙂

  5. Molly and Poppy are very good mums – they’ve a good human mum who takes a lot of baby stress away, so they can get one with the job at hand.
    That Boo TonTon squeak thing is hilarious – almost like Ton still thinks Boo is a silly puppy.

  6. I love this post showing Boo as NOT just a working farm dog. The video is priceless! And since you have the respected title of Lady Pig Farmer, perhaps you should think about starting your own line of nursing mother pig meals, although you would need a catchy name to sell them under.

  7. It is supposed to be only 39F here tonight which is unheard of in April! I think we got the remnants of your cold snap. Fine by me. It is very windy out at the moment. Might have to turn off the ceiling fan. I just love Boo!

  8. It’s wonderful that you have the monitor and can keep an eye on them without having to run out into the cold and maybe get a bit more rest.You do such a good job making sure all are well taken care of. Loved seeing Boo playing with his toy. I had one dog that liked the squeak and one that thought the toy was being hurt when it squeaked. She was ever so gentle with the toys so they would not squeak. I don’t have instagram so I could not click the heart but I did get to see it here. Thank you.

    • Yes – the baby monitor is such a bonus.. I am glad you could see the wee vid – even without being on instagram. I was hoping that would work for you. c

  9. That is so cute..little pink pig.

    Poppy gets very good food..better than my own by the sound of it…maybe l will come to stay in the barn and get a taste for the ‘high life’ of the animal world. You are a lovely lady Miss C and you take great care of your animals…bless you all

  10. I’m so sorry about the one piglet—and a big one too. Not the wee one. Gosh it seems anything can happen and it does.
    Boo is just adorable isn’t he! What I don’t understand is how come he hasn’t absolutely destroyed Mr Pink. I guess it’s all in the breed. Yes Ton is one serious dude. My border collie never never laughed. He went about with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

  11. Our 5 month old mini Australian Shepherd pup, Sophie, loves squeak toys, too. For Easter I found a stuffed bunny dog toy that has 5 – FIVE – separate squeakers. She loves it. The humans in this house, not so much.

  12. Our dog loves squeaky toys too! She has loads scattered all over the house. Sorry about the little pig, such a shame.

  13. It seems that squeaky toys are addicting in our house too……but (fortunately for my ears) the squeak is the first to be teared apart

  14. Dying to see your video, but don’t know how to access it. HELP, PLEASE? I’m such a nerd when it comes to computer workings. Breaks my heart about baby piglet! Just makes me sad, but I know you can’t dwell in sorrow on nature’s course of events. You’re doing great, Lady Pig Farmer!

  15. It is almost absurd, or maybe indecent, how much pleasure, happiness, bliss, sense-of-peace I get from looking at these wee darling creatures so full of the will to live and eat and sleep. Thank you for sharing your life’s work with us. It’s very generous of you, and it makes a huge difference.

  16. P.S. Boo is darling with his squeaky toy. I rather like a gentleman who remains playful into his mid-life and later years. It’s so important.

  17. Hah! Went back up to the video spot to see what I could try…IT WASW ON! Adorable! Oh, Miss C, if you ever decide to market nursing mommy pig food, how about ‘SOW POW!’ Joshing you!

  18. My Mirrhi is part border collie and hates squeaky toys too……..when I played the video she got up, gave me a dirty look and left the room. The only ‘toy’ she loves is her ball or a stick. Sorry to hear about the little pig and wishing for warmer weather for you.

  19. I think the problem with human breast feeding is more about what one has to be rested enough to do during the waking hours…whereas Poppy has YOU to feed her gourmet meals, do her housecleaning and most anything else she needs!!! Wouldn’t that be the life!!

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