Posts Tagged ‘piglet’

Piglet in a papoose and other piggie pics

We’ve already met the Piglet in a Papoose thanks to B, and now Jennie’s endorsed the idea. She’s already blogged about being a surrogate mum to Bubble, but here’s the photographic proof:

Jennie and Bubble - 19 October 2008

Jennie and Bubble - 19 October 2008

The dogs were quite keen on the idea as well, though I think they had ulterior motives. Snipe was very keen on the squished banana on Jennie’s hands (yes, she hand fed Bubble most of her banana) whereas Midge seemed to be angling for piglet…

Jennie, Bubble, Snipe and Midge - 19 October 2008

Jennie, Bubble, Snipe and Midge - 19 October 2008

And here are Squeak, Curly and Wurly with their new toy:

Squeak, Curly and Wurly- 19 October 2008

Squeak, Curly and Wurly- 19 October 2008

Cookie update

Poor Cookie really wasn’t getting any better yesterday and threw up twice, once in the morning and then again in the afternoon. At that the point, I picked up he phone and called the vet. And so, for the second time in three days, I found myself sitting in a busy waiting room with a piglet in a cage, worrying about whether she’d be ok, but also laughing at the big tough dogs (or so they thought) who took one look at Cookie and turned into quivering heaps.

The vet isn’t sure what’s wrong with the Cookster, but thinks it’s probably an infection of some kind. She had a bit of a temperature, nothing too high, but no specific symptoms that would suggest anything major. Which is a relief. So she gave her two shots, and I’ve got to inject her with antibiotics for the next three nights.

And it seems to be working. She actually got herself up this morning and came and sniffed at the pig nuts. She didn’t want any, but she was interested. And she wasn’t sick. A few hours later, I saw her suckling, and then she definitely had a go at lunch and snuffled several pieces of apple and kiwi fruit and other assorted goodies. She didn’t have much, but it’s the first time I’d seen her eat since Saturday night so it is real progress.

Cookie - 9 October 2008

Cookie - 9 October 2008

I’m not getting too excited just yet, but it seems to be good news.

Give it some welly!

B and I made the mistake of sitting in Tia’s ark with the piglets on Saturday. No, that wasn’t the mistake. The mistake was wearing wellies. Or at least having them on display to all and sundry.

You’re never safe in wellies when there’s a piglet around!

Pinky, Cookie and Scratchy - 4 October 2008

Pinky, Cookie and Scratchy - 4 October 2008

Pinky - 4 October 2008

Pinky - 4 October 2008

As always, Fergie was a model of good behaviour and was rewarded with the latest way to impress all your friends…

Fergie in her piggie papoose - 4 October 2008

Fergie in her piggie papoose - 4 October 2008

Who needs dog-in-a-bag when you can have pig-in-a-papoose?!

The runt of the litter

As so often happens with litters of piglets, both Tia and Scrumpy have a runt each. Fergie, Tia’s little ‘un, has been a stereotypical runt since the day she was born, always struggling, never keeping up and (B and Jennie, close your eyes) a bit… well, not quite as smart as the others. Tia’s piglets are 3 weeks older than Scrumpy’s, but today Fergie is the same size as Scrumpy’s. I expect that by next week, Scrumpy’s will have overtaken her.

Apart from Bubble, Scrumpy’s runt.

Bubble is weeny, much more so than Fergie was. Fergles was small all over, but Bubble is short and skinny and could be the poster piglet for some animal welfare campaign. But her character and sense of self outweigh her appearance by far more than her actual weight! She was one of the first to head outside exploring, has bags and bags of energy and is usually the first to get up in the morning when she hears me coming. (Fergie is always, always last, and sometimes isn’t even aware that I’m there, even if I bang on the ark. Then she runs off in the wrong direction.)

And, most unusually for a runt, she is the most possessive of their food and frequently barges the others out of the way so that she can get to “her” grape or “her” slice of banana. Runts are usually at the bottom of the pecking order, and tend to come off worse in the fight for survival against their siblings. Piglets choose a teat early on in their lives and stick to it and the initial fight over each teat tends to see the strongest and healthiest piglets get the best teats with the most milk, while the runts end up with smallest teats that produce the least milk, which contributes to their small size. Scrumpy has 12 teats and 4 piglets, so that was never a real problem and I suspect this is one of the reasons why Bubble has so much get up and go in comparison to Fergie. But even so, there’s no way the runt should be so dominant when it comes to food. Hungry, yes, but not bossy.

Still, I’m not complaining, if only because her behaviour lets me know that she’s ok and that I don’t need to worry about her.

So, in the spirit of loving our runts, I thought you might enjoy these photos of Fergie and Bubble and their food…

Fergie tucks into an apple - 25  September 2008

Fergie tucks into an apple - 25 September 2008

Bubble gets tired of waiting for me to serve up breakfast - 1 October 2008

Bubble gets tired of waiting for me to serve up breakfast - 1 October 2008

As you can see, Fergie is quite delicate and reserved whereas Bubble just dives in head first. Which does not bode well for the future. If you think Tia’s lot are a handful, what will Bubble be like?!

The first one has gone!

The first of Tia’s piglets has packed her bags and left home! It’s a bit complicated, but Itchy has gone to a wonderful home, that of Harold’s breeder and the sister of the owner of Harold’s papa, who is also the papa of Itchy and her sisters and brother – and Scrumpy’s piglets. Basically, we did a straight swap – one of her piglets (Harold) for one of mine. I don’t think want to know the rest, so I’ll save boring your socks off for another day and leave you to gasp in astonishment at these three photos, taken at different stages in Tia’s piglets’ lives:

Tia and her one day old piglets - 20 August 2008

Tia and her one day old piglets - 20 August 2008

Tia and her ten day old piglets - 30 August 2008

Tia and her ten day old piglets - 30 August 2008

Tia and her 6 week old piglets - 1 October 2008

Tia and her 6 week old piglets - 1 October 2008

Incidentally, Tia doesn’t seem to have noticed that one of her kids has vanished (either that or she’s so pleased she doesn’t dare let me know in case I bring her back) and seems quite happy with her remaining five. The only one of the piglets who looked a bit lonely was Scratchy who still looks a bit lost without his partner-in-crime. But I got two boxes of bananas from the lovely guys who supply me with my fruit and veg so they’re all stuffing themselves silly and loving it.

Eat like a pig(let)

Scrumpy’s piglets have started showing an interest in her food, which is something I’m keen to encourage – but with their own food, not hers!

There’s been a mixed response:

Wurly - 25 September 2008

Wurly - 25 September 2008

Curly (who suddenly went all camera-shy and vanished lest he be captured on film) and Wurly are quite amenable to the idea of eating their own food.

Squeak- 25 September 2008

Squeak- 25 September 2008

But some piglets, like Squeak, think that mum has far more interesting food, like this mango which fell out of her bowl. Naughty girl!

Bubble - 25 September 2008

Bubble - 25 September 2008

And Bubble still thinks that Mama’s home cooked food is best. Bless!!

Piglet cuddles and kisses

Couldn’t resist taking these over the past couple of days.

Just look at the huge grin on Fergie’s face coz she’s suckered Jennie into giving her some cuddles and lovings. Fergles might be the runt of the litter, but she’s the expert at playing the game!

Jennie and (a grinning) Fergie - 24 September 2008

Jennie and (a grinning) Fergie - 24 September 2008

B said some very rude things when she saw this photo. I won’t repeat them here.

Kisses from Cookie!! 25 September 2008

Kisses from Cookie!! 25 September 2008

Piggie names

Quite a few people have asked me how (and why!) I came up with my pigs’ names and I’ve always thought that an explantion was probably due but it wasn’t until yesterday’s discovery that two of Stonehead’s piglets are called Snugglepot and Cuddlepie has finally prompted to put together the answer.

If you’ve been reading BmS for a while, you’ll know that my lot are:-

  • Bailey, the boar
  • Brini, Scrumpy and Tia, the sows
  • Harold, the weaner
  • Fergie, Cookie, Itchy, Scratchy, Pinky and Perky, Tia’s piglets; and
  • Curly, Wurly, Bubble and Squeak, Scrumpy’s piglets.

I used to own Victoria and Albert, but they’re in the freezer…

Albie and Vicky were so named because that’s what B suggested when we got them and the very thought made me chuckle. It seemed natural to maintain the theme for future freezer pigs. But I didn’t want to do the same for non-freezer piggies, so a different theme was required. The first sow I bought (who we have since sold), I called Stella, as in CSI, but when Scrumpy and Tia arrived a few weeks later, the CSI theme just wasn’t working. But Stella already knew her name, so there was only one thing for it…

Scrumpy’s name was found because she’s a bit Scrumpy-Dumpy and Tia was just a little shot! Bailey is (or was, until autumn crept up on us) cream-coloured and Brini got her name because when I bought her, I also bought her full sister, so Brini and Brusco seemed appropriate. But I sold Brusco to the same guy who bought Stella as they had palled up. Brini’s Brini now, but that’s where her name came from.

Harold was meant to be George but one of mum’s friends, also called George, had recently embarked on a diet and mum suggested that the name association might not be the most tactful thing I could do. Harold just popped into my head and stuck.

The piglets’ names are just descriptive and are chosen for nonsensical reasons, mostly just for a laugh. Itchy and Scratchy never stop itching and scratching, Pinky and Perky are pink and lively, Cookie is the colour of chocolate and cream (and she’s also turned out to be incredibly fat, so it’s an apt name!) and Fergie’s ginger… (No, Fergie’s not for the freezer. They’re divorced, therefore it no longer counts.) Curly has an extremely curly tail and his sister is the same colour, and the first time B held Squeak, she squeaked and Bubble just seemed to match.

Of course, the freezer-name thing has promptly ended, because Albert, Victoria and Harold were all brought in, but now I’m breeding my own and having struggled to come up with suitable names, I’m not changing them again. But it was fun while it lasted.

Where I want to be right now

The piglets have the right idea:-

Bubble and Wurly fast asleep - 20 September 2008

Bubble and Wurly fast asleep - 20 September 2008

Except I can’t curl up and fall asleep because (a) I’m being sneaky and haven’t given the pigs their breakfast yet (if you get into a routine, they never let you break it. Rough feeding times work better for me than a strict timetable. Of course, they’re all out on grass so they’re still able to graze. Just for the record! But they won’t be grazing. They’ll be asleep. Lucky bastards.) … and (b) I’ve got another five sacks of fruit and veg to sort out before the wasps discover it. Ho hum. But yay for freebies!

Daddy Pig!!!

I keep getting asked if Bailey is the sire of Tia and Scrumpy’s piglets. But no, another piggie got their first! Before I got Bailey, the girls were after a boyfriend and when we found out someone we worked with also kept Kune Kunes, she kindly lent us her boar, Bob:

Bob - 19 April 2008

Bob - 19 April 2008

Bob is just about smaller than Tia and a fair amount smaller than Scrumpy and, like them, has the most wonderful temperament, so I’m expecting great things from my piglets! Actually, it’s already clear that they’re a friendly bunch who (generally) come running when they see a pair of wellies walking their way. No, I don’t know why they’re so obsessed with wellies either. But they are.

Bob and Tia - 22 April 2008

Bob and Tia - 22 April 2008

The real quirk about Bob’s character was that he loved a good itch and he almost died with pleasure if you spent a few moments scratching his back. I mention this because two of Tia’s piglets, Itchy and Scratchy, clearly take after their papa…

Scrumpy and Bob - 17 May 2008

Scrumpy and Bob - 17 May 2008

So that’s Bob. Thanks mate, you did a good job! Oh, Bob is also the papa of a certain young Harold, who has been remarkably well-behaved since I turned the electric fence back on. Hmm, I wonder what he’s plotting…