Posts Tagged ‘piglet’

The end of the world as I know it…

Just a brief post to say that B and I parted company over the weekend. Yes, the timing sucks. No, I haven’t got a clue what comes next. As we slip from one decade to the next, I shall be single, homeless and jobless. Ok, so it’s not as dramatic as it sounds, but in the wee hours it sure feels like that! It’s an opportunity, or so I’m told, to do anything, to go anywhere. Here’s hoping, right?!

Thankfully I am surrounded by wonderful friends to whom I owe bucketfuls of thanks.

Here’s the most recent photo of the piglets, to end on a good note:

Pinky, Curly and the piglets - 13 December 2009

Pinky, Curly and the piglets - 13 December 2009

Straw thieves!

Having bought some new straw on Sunday, I cleaned out the piglets’ ark, a necessary task every few days as they’re still being toilet trained. Although they tend to go to the loo outside, they do go inside as well, presumably at night – especially with all this rain bucketing it down!

So, having cleaned out the wet straw, I gave them about three-quarters of a bale, and left them to it, playing in the suddenly much bigger bed, eating the heads of barley, throwing it about and generally enjoying themselves (their fun was abruptly halted when Pinky and Curly saw what was going on and booted the piglets out so that they could play!).

I then took a second bale down to the sows and gilts, nearly slipping in the mud en route but thankfully managing to stay upright! I only intended to give them about half of the bale, topping it up again later in the week but, being pigs, they had other ideas. I put the bale in the ark, pulled the old straw to the front, which is where the rain comes in, cut the string, carefully removed half, and put the half I wanted to keep in the corner, and set about shaking the sections up. That done, I turned round …. and saw that Perky and Scrumpy had taken matter into their own trotters and had done the same to the other half! I thought they were enjoying the straw that I was shaking about the ark but no, they were making sure they got the whole bale, not half.

So they got the whole bale, though I did tell them that this means they won’t be getting a top up for at least a week.

I don’t think they cared…

Perky in the pig ark - 15 November 2009

Perky in the pig ark - 15 November 2009

A blustery November!

It’s a windy but sunny day today, what a change from all the rain we’ve been having. I’m seriously thinking about buying some lifejackets and arm bands for the pigs, just in case!

Mind you, the rain did hold off long enough earlier this week for me to move both the piglets and the adults onto dry, fresh and green ground, though how long it will stay like that is anyone’s guess (for what it’s worth, mine is ‘not long’).

The adults couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw where they were going and haven’t stopped grinning (or stuffing their faces) since then:

Tia, Brini, Perky, Fergie and Scrumpy - 3 November 2009

Tia, Brini, Perky, Fergie and Scrumpy - 3 November 2009

The break in the weather didn’t hold for long:

Dark clouds over the field - 4 November 2009

Dark clouds over the field - 4 November 2009

And here’s the cutest piglet photo ever:

The piglets - 5 November 2009

The piglets - 5 November 2009

But this is the funniest:

Pinky piglets - 4 November 2009

Don't ask. Just don't ask!

If they’re like this at 6 weeks, what will they be doing at 6 months?!!

Six weeks!

I’m feeling rather sleepy and not really with it, so here’s a photo of the piglets from Sunday:

Pinky feeds her six-week old piglets - 1 November 2009

Pinky feeds her six-week old piglets - 1 November 2009

My, but they’ve grown in the six weeks since they were born!

Pinky's piglets - 20 September 2009

Pinky's piglets - 20 September 2009

And they’re naughty, too! And smart, but there’s a story to be told there… another time, when I’ve woken up!

The pigs continue to play happy families!

If I’m honest, I’ll admit that young Master Curly is a pain in the backside and I spend half my time wishing I’d sent him off before Bailey, instead of waiting for the freezer to empty so I can fit him in.

However, I spend the rest of my time marvelling at how gentle he is with his piglets:

Curly and his piglets - 23 October 2009

Curly and his piglets - 23 October 2009

Pinky is, of course, as doting as any sow:

Pinky and her piglets - 23 October 2009

Pinky and her piglets - 23 October 2009

If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see that she even dropped down in a large pile of pig poo to feed the piglets when they started telling her that they were hungry!

Good times 🙂

Corn flour rules OK!

One of the runts of Pinky’s litter of piglets, Rufus, has had a touch of the runs all week but I wasn’t too concerned until yesterday when “a touch” became something more, well, there was more of it!

Scour (as diarrhoea in animals is known) can be fatal to piglets so it should never be taken lightly or dismissed but there is, I believe, a time and a place to call the vet and I didn’t think this was it.

The reason I didn’t seek veterinary advice was quite simple. Although he was clearly having poo problems, his eyes were still bright, he hadn’t lost his appetite, he wasn’t spending all his time alone or asleep and he wasn’t dull, listless or insipid. Yes, he was understandably more hungry than usual, which meant he spent more time eating and less time playing than usual, but he was still himself, if you see what I mean.

So, I decided to give him one more day and instead, I used an old remedy that hasn’t yet let me down: corn flour (or corn starch as it’s also known).

You simply make a runny paste and use a syringe to get as much as possible down the piglet’s throat. In my case, I ended up wearing half of it, which was much more preferable to what I ended up wearing from the other end of him…!

I gave him a dose at lunch time and then another in the late afternoon, deciding that if he hadn’t dried up by morning, then that was that and we’d be going to the vet’s.

But I was all smiles this morning when I lifted his tail and saw that all was dry. I cleaned his bum before I left last night, not just for his comfort but also so I could easily tell if he’d scoured again. But he hadn’t! I last checked him an hour ago and all was well, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way. 🙂

Growing up fast!

Blimey, has it really just been one short month since Pinky farrowed?

Pinky and her piglets - 18 October 2009

Pinky and her piglets - 18 October 2009

The six surviving piglets are simply wonderful. They are extremely friendly, genuinely delighted with human company and are very curious about the world around them. They now tuck in to Pinky’s pig nuts when I feed her and are most enthusiastic about the bucket of fruit and veg that is miraculously delivered to their enclosure every evening!

The piglets - 11 October 2009

The piglets - 11 October 2009

When you’re four weeks old, everything is a game and it’s exhausting just to watch them tear around, chasing one another, play fighting, running here, there and everywhere, and then back again…

The piglets - 18 October 2009

The piglets - 18 October 2009