Seven Silly Sister Sows


Lois Lane

In the last twenty-four hours we’ve had seven sows farrow, six in the south herd and one in the north herd. I would not be surprised if that many pop again in the coming week. Piglets are everywhere and doing great with the nice weather we’re having. The sows picked a good time.

They’re not sisters although they are relatives. It just made a good title. Flop and Flip are the only two litter mate sisters in the group.

One of the sows, having her first litter, is in the old cow lane right behind our cottage. Due to her location she is now named Lois Lane. It is quite common for me to not learn their names until they’ve farrowed. It is rumored that she has a romantic interest in Superman but in reality her boyfriend, and father of her piglets, is Speckles, our north field boar. Although, truth be told, he does do a pretty darn good Superman imitation leaping tall fences and I would not want to try to wrestle with him!

Katya found Lois’s location very disconcerting. Generally there isn’t a lot of livestock activity that close and she was concerned that the pig was out of place which means she needs to put it back where it belongs. I explained it was a good spot for Lois. Today and yesterday Katya’s been doing several times a day field walks with me to check the new arrivals. She’s fascinated by piglets but very respectful of the big sows, some of whom weigh 800 lbs. Wise move as she is still just a puppy.

This leads to the almost old joke: Where does an 800 lb sow build her nest? Anywhere she pleases! Pretty close to the truth. Fortunately as they gain experience they tend to choose good locations as they get older. That’s a good reason for keeping old sows.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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2 Responses to Seven Silly Sister Sows

  1. Jeff Marchand says:

    How long does will it take for these piglets to get to market size?
    Its taking me longer to get my pig fencing up than I had planned and was beginning to wonder if I had missed the boat for this year . If I get piglets in mid June and feed em pig pellets and pasture will they be big enough to slaughter by November?

    Thanks

    Jeff M.

    • Free feeding on commercial feed most pigs generally reach market size of about 250 lbs in six months from birth. With pasture and dairy ours do about that rate in the warm months and a little longer in the cold months when they are getting hay and dairy. We don’t feed commercial pellet feed but years ago when we did briefly our experience was they grew at about the same rate as the pasture and dairy diet.

      Note that butchers tend to be over booked in November so in addition to getting your piglets, schedule with the butcher way, way ahead – like now. As to getting piglets, we have been filling the orders we got last fall. People who ordered in the winter will be getting their piglets next and the reserve list extends out to the end of June. It tends to keep extending out through August so it is important to order piglets and put down a deposit to reserve them early.

      Have fun with your pigs!

      Cheers,

      -Walter

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