Piglet Counting


Counting piglets can be even harder than counting chicks. When they are holding still they are buried in the hay making counting impossible. When they are awake they are moving fast. If there are only ten or twenty in a group I can get a good count but beyond that it gets very difficult. This time we had sixty all born together. I needed a better way. I needed them to hold still… to pose for their photo…

My solution was to have Will feed them while I stood up on the hill above and took photos with my Fuji Finepix E900 digital camera. A digital camera is perfect for this because I can check right then to see if I got a good photo. I then brought the photo into the computer and placed a dot over each piglet as I counted them to make sure I didn’t count any twice. The difference in the color of the dots was just my way of counting the variations in color. We have one sow who throws some interesting colored piglets with this boar – some are spotted, some are red.

20째F/-3째F, Light snow flurries, Overcast, High Winds

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Piglet Counting

  1. Walter

    Thats a great idea!! I’ll have to try it next time I count the hens.
    I’m still waiting for the sap to run here. I should have tapped the trees in January when it was warm :)

    Scott Terry

  2. Peter comly says:

    Walter,
    My 2 year old daughter was sitting on my lap when I was looking at this. She said “Look, they’re Christmas Pigs!”

  3. Peter comly says:

    Walter,
    My 2 1/2 year old daughter was sitting on my lap when I looked at this. She said “Look, they’re Christmas pigs!”

  4. pablo says:

    Too bad you won’t be able to sell their pelts now that you have spray painted them.

    Novel solution to your problem. Not one I would have come up with, but I’m not surprised it came from your clever mind.

  5. PV says:

    That is ingenious!!!!

  6. Mellifera says:

    That’s how the scientists count penguins at the South Pole… they’re in a big huddle and they’re constantly shuffling around with the outer ones gradually working their way inward and vice versa. With a colony of 1,000+ they quickly decided a quick visual wasn’t going to cut it, so they started sending up balloons to shoot photos and count up the photos.

    If you really have a LOT of pigs one year, take a photo from higher up and I’ll show you how to count ’em up a la E. coli on a petri dish, lab-style. : )

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