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.
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.
She is the most relaxed I have ever seen her this time.
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.
But this one is in focus. Boo.
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.
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.
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.
6:26 am 7:24 pm
Waning Gibbous, 58% visible 1:32 am 11:20 am