Peanut Butter Piglets


Peanut Butter and Piglets

Peanut Butter is the name of the sow. We often call her PB for short. She just farrowed in the far south field. It is predator season and that is a bit too far out and it is a steep slope so we moved her and her young piglets in closer to the lower south field. Moving a sow is a difficult process and can be dangerous.

The sow is very homed to her nest location. More so than she is to the actual piglets. Even with me leading with piglets in two buckets she still wanted to return to her nest. Homing instinct in pigs is very strong. This is a useful trait for they tend to want to return if they get out of their fencing.

The reason it can be dangerous to move a sow is you are messing with her piglets. They’re not happy so she’s not happy. Sows are big, at 300 to 800 lbs, and powerful with strong jaws and sharp teeth as well as simply being able to knock you down and walk all over you. Can you say trampled?

In her case Peanut Butter is a sow that we have moved more than once and I think she understood, after a few false starts, that we were moving to a new space. The fact that we took her to a field where she has raised piglets before probably helped.

Once there she checked her piglets, snuffled around, ate some donuts we offered, drank some water and built a new nest. Life is good on Sugar Mountain.

Outdoors: 64°F/47°F Mostly Overcast
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/61°F

Daily Spark: I went to the doctor and he told me I had the body of a 20 year old. I told him to stop snooping in the trunk of my car!

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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14 Responses to Peanut Butter Piglets

  1. Nathan says:

    Another great little post. Another issue I face when strip grazing is that my sow and gilt don’t want to cross the imaginary line and I often need to let them take a good bit of time until the will leave their previous nesting spot.

    Walter, If I have a few conversation pieces that are not directly related to one of your posts where do you suppose I would start that conversation?

  2. Triple K Farm says:

    The are beautiful piglets. What breed/breeds are they?

  3. skeptic7 says:

    I love the colors of PB and her piglets.

  4. Someone wrote in email:

    Peanut Butter is quite plump despite having farrowed,maybe if we see a similar photo of her next month for comparison.

    She is the fifth generation in our Blackie x Mainline pigs. We are breeding for the ability to thrive through our cold winters and gain weight on pasture yet also have the long length for bacon and loins.

    For now here is one from the past and in this one she is a little piglet in the middle of the group with her mother (9th picture down).

  5. Someone asked:

    Walter when you put the piglets in a bucket she doesn’t get agitated with you?

    A five gallon pails are a good way of carrying a large number of piglets. They calm down. Even better is a 50 gallon plastic drum with hay in it but that takes two people to carry and is difficult on rough mountain terrain. Hand carrying piglets makes them feel like they’ve been picked up by a predator since pigs do not pickup their young, unless they’re going to eat them. In the bucket they have other piglets to be with and it is like a small nest. Keeping them calm during a move is important.

  6. Orrin Murdoch says:

    Hi Walter,
    Would you expound further on your comment about ‘predator season’?
    Thank you,
    Orrin

    • From August through fall the young coyotes and such are learning to hunt. The other predators are trying to put up meat for the winter. Hunters and Yahoos are everywhere in the woods and fields. Bit of a bother.

      • L says:

        Walter, last night I brought home some new piglets, and put them in a small 12 x12 pen next to my brooder house. This morning when I went out there was one of my predator control dogs, a young Maremma named Elsa. She had curled up against the outside of the ‘new babies’ pen and spent the night there with them. She has apparently developed a love of pigs. Do you know of anyone that needs predator control dogs to live with and protect their pigs??

        • We have a large pack of livestock herding guarding dogs who protect our pigs from coyotes, foxes, crows, ravens, hawks, owls, cougar, bear and stray dogs as well as two-leggers who would otherwise prey on pigs, particularly small pigs.

  7. Nance says:

    I learn something every time I stop by to read a post. If I ever have a litter (?) of piglets, I’ll know to move them in a 5-gal pail with their sibs. I like the brown and white piglets. oh you know, I like all the little piglets.

  8. Lynn says:

    so cute :) makes me smile and bonus i learned something… i learned why pigglets don’t like to be picked up and i find that very fascinatin… also how to move them! i love all you piglet pics :)

  9. jayessdub says:

    Peanut Butter is one fine sow. I need to figure out a road trip to Vermont. Maybe I could pick up one of her progeny.

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