Just when you think you know what to expect when you come home from work ie a very tired Kate, most of the jobs done, and just the chickens to be put to bed and then lambing watch……. well tonight something a little different.
Kate had fed the pigs this evening and found Dawn not wanting her food, in the arc she shares with Pam and Sapphire and quite loathe to come out. The straw was also all around her in a mound………. could she be nesting?
According to the diary she when she was last served she should farrow in 5 days ……… but we have been there so many times before that we have almost given up. She is also a first time Mum so not prone to losing her feminine shape, so not obvious……… so maybe. And if she is we needed to separate her from the others. So I am quickly out of my uniform and helping. We just managed to coax her out of the arc, a couple of bananas did the trick, and load her in the trailer.
Luckily we had moved the farrowing arc at the weekend, so she can have that to …. well who knows … maybe farrow in the next week!!!
We also think that Sapphire, due May 1st , is also with piglet!!
So lots of new life at Willow Farm.
Farrowing tips I have come across so far are
(1) Allow her a hut on her own.
(2) make sure it is facing south to keep the weather out
(3) give her some straw (barley) a week before hand and allow her to build a nest.
(4) give her some feed but reduce the amount and add some lucerne hay to it
(5) allow her to have plenty of drinking water
(6) let her get used to her space and settle in
(7) Keep an eye on her but don’t rattle her
(8) make sure she is comfortable in her new surroundings
(9) when she is having her babies…. just leave her be
(10) when she has finished remove the after birth or leave it there for her to consume….has plenty of antibodies in it for her use to the piglets.
(11) keep an eye on the babies.
(12) she may suckle the babies for a day or so before she gets up that is fine, she has put on plenty of condition and will not lose all of it in this time.
(13) remove any dead babies and bury
(14) a week after their birth they will be quite strong and she will leave them for a feed and a drink
(14) as they come up to day ten they will be coming out of the nest and roaming around and checking out her feed.
(15) by day 11 they can be moved to the nursery pen along with her litter.
(16) Offer creep to the piglets and watch them grow
(17) watch them run down the paddock and leave mum behind in the nursery pen.
(18) time to wean.
so we will follow these instruction OK so 2 x point number 14 but hey ho!
WATCH THIS SPACE!
Other than that … the new lambs of yesterday are now feeding well 🙂 and Mum has milk, which is a huge relief.
And that is about all for today … full of suprises and hope!
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