Sunday, March 6, 2011

Piglets weaning day and Yogie's LambChops.

Miss Chops had 13 piglets on the 26th of January. She did it like all pigs in her own way and time, piglets are the easiest of all babies to deliver, the momma basically does nothing for them at birth but push them out. They come into this world fully functioning in a way no other mammal do. They have their eyes wide open, a good set of teeth and hit the ground running. They pull off their own umbilical cord and look for a teat to attach themselves to. I didn't know until yesterday, when I was watching a show on the National Geographic channel, that when they fight the first time for that teat they are actually waging a war of dominance in their litter. They fight for the best teat, the biggest and the strongest piglet wins, but the teat he wins stays his or hers for the duration of their nursing. They use those little teeth, they come into this world with, to fight vigorously for their position in the litter. The winner is the champion and the most dominant piglet. They then settle down and are litter mates, no more fights for teats. Momma pigs teach their piglets to obey her grunts and, let me tell you. they don't disobey her, they do as they are told during their time with her. They can and do eat food from day one. if they are given it as part of their diet, if not her milk will fulfill all their needs until they are weaned, my personal observations. The show went on to say they can be weaned at two weeks if necessary but it makes for a pig that is more aggressive and more scared of it's surroundings. We weaned ours at 6 weeks which is at the older end of weaning piglets.

We; Mokie, Poppie, the neighbor boy, Nate and myself, pulled the piglets from Miss Chop's sty. Poppie was on the inside of the sty, as he is the one that takes care of her and she trusts him the most, pigs can be very aggressive and defend their prodigies with all the defense her 300 lb body can manage, so you do have to be careful of an angry sow. He feed them their regular food and picked them out as they ate. If you carry them by their back feet and don't try to cuddle them, they don't make noise, noise makes momma very angry. The more noise they made. the more she got upset; and the less piglets she had, the more aggressive she got. She actually bit at Poppie when she was down to the last two, but he caught the last little one and made his escape from her sty. The piglets happily ate at their new digs, while Miss Chops screamed and yelled about the loss of her litter. She settled down after a short time but goes into defensive mode if she hear them make any real noise.  The next day she was still a little off put, by the rest of us, but Poppie still gets her love even if the piglet squeal a little when he feeds them. They will all be going to their new homes soon and she will be able to just be a pig again. She was a wonderful attentive momma.

The day we moved the pig, a friend of mine, Sue, another goat lady, called to ask me a favor. She had a little two day old full blood Dorper lamb, he was a very large newborn, he had hurt his momma being born and she wasn't going to make it. She asked if my girls would like him to bottle feed, she wanted us to raise him as a ram but it is my philosophy what if you are feeding a sheep you can 't feed a goat the same hay. I did take the lamb, as Yogie really wanted to step up and take care of it; but alas he has a food name, Lambchops, so he will not be a long term resident, and that it ok with Yogie. She took to him right away and he follows her like she was his momma. He is currently in my studio, as I don't have another place for him, we may try to foster him with my goat that fosters or just let Yogie keep mommaing him, as long as she puts in the effort and work. He will eventually join our heard with the other withers but for now we have a lamb in the house, as my older kids did and as I did as a child. I think loving and caring for a baby animal helps build you as a child for bigger things to come in your adult life. Popppie is lamb sitting today as Yogie and Booboo went to their grandparents to help plant pansy for future farmers markets. Poppie can't wait for their return, he does get Boy to come help feed Lambchops and let Lambchops run off some energy chasing Boy and Cubbie.  Today is Sunday and we praise the Lord and rest for the week to come in this house, I hope you do the same...... tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. So crazy that pigletts are born with teeth!!! I never knew!


Please leave a comment, I value your comments and appreciate your time to read my blog....