Above is Flop and her new brood of eight healthy piglets. We have a total of 34 new piglets in the south pasture this week. The weather has been most excellent for farrowing. Flop and Out went into the woods to farrow. Out is now in but Flop, who farrowed last, has not rejoined the herd yet.
Thurs-Sat Outdoors: 79°F/45°F Sunny, Brief rainfall 1″
Farm House: 69°F/61°F Planted atrium, north home field, strawberry level and tank gardens, fence posts in south field.
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/74°F Monitored concrete wall temps – lag 1°F high, very stable
I see she still has a good layer of backfat on her. How long will it take for the piglets to suck that off her, and how skinny will she get? How do you ensure she gets enough food in the pasture setting, and that she doesn’t get out competed by others including her own brood? I’ve got a sow I’m mixing in deep fryer oil to her feed, trying to get a bit of fat back on her.
….more piglet pictures please…. :-)
How else can I vicariously enjoy raising hogs and living on a mountain without piglet pics?
Thanks for all the posts. I keep SgrMtnBlg on my RSS feed – at the top of the list.
Pete, Flop did get up to a fine condition. I had been a bit worried about her because back in early January she had fallen on the ice while running down the south field. The fall injured her right hind leg. It didn’t appear to be broken, just a very bad sprain but it took a long time to heal and for over a month she was not using it. During that time she lost a lot of condition. This was especially bad because it happened right after she weaned her previous litter of piglets and was already peak-id, that is to say nursed down.
Our herd’s diet consists primarily pasture/hay and whey so it tends to be a bit on the low side for calories. Couple that with the cold of winter and I do have to watch carefully to make sure they keep up their weights. This is the opposite of penned or confinement raised pigs on grain who tend towards being overweight and fatty.
To increase the calories in their diet we feed cheese trim from a local cheese maker. Especially in the winter that extra fat helps as they need more calories for warmth as well as nursing. Occasionally we’re also able to get a van load of expired bread which is a high calorie food. The oil you use is another good idea for increasing the calories.
In terms of competition, that really isn’t an issue because what we do is free feed to satiation. We’ve found that is the easiest way to make sure everyone in the herd gets enough. We work to keep the feeding tubs at least partially filled at all times with whey. In the winter is the only time that becomes an issue due to freezing during low temperatures. Fortunately way does not freeze as easily as pure water. During those times, we simply feed more frequently during the day.
Fortunately, Flop recovered well from her leg injury and eventually regained her lost weight so that by the time she farrowed she was back in fine condition and gave birth to eight big healthy piglets.
OOOOO!!!!!! THey are sooooooo cute!!!! Do all the piglets get together in the field? Pix????????