Torn in her new digs
With the rain and wet snow we’ve had these past few days I opened up a farrowing nursery to Torn, one of the sows in the north field. During the warm months they farrow out in the brush along the margins of the paddocks. Now that it is getting colder, and especially muddy wet, I’ve given her hay with which to make her nest. As I dropped in a square bale she tore into it. She was anxious to get to building a bed for her piglets to come. Nesting is a strong instinctual behavior.
Outdoors: 50°F/29°F Sunny
Farm House: 65°F/56°F
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/57°F
Hell hath no fury like a pig nesting.
I love to watch animals nesting. Something really special about that.
Amazing how fast you went from frost to slush. Glad we have a little more grace periods in between.
she is huge!!!!
Fortunately they’re quite focused and gentle when nesting. They do object to other pigs trying to take over their nest as I’ve seen once in a while but generally that isn’t an issue. During the warm weather they go off to some secluded part in the brush along the margins of the pasture.
Walter is that pig fat or normal?
Torn, the pig pictured above is in what we refer to fine condition and a piggy way. That is to say she’s healthy, has an appropriate amount of back fat and is near the end of her pregnancy. She’s not fat by any means – this can be determined by looking at the jowls in particular, of which she has a minimal amount, and by looking at form definition. There should be some roundness to her back from a good layer of back fat which she’ll need to provide food for her soon to be nursing piglets – any thinner and she wouldn’t have the reserves to carry her through to weaning time. There shouldn’t be so much fat that she becomes less than agile or she might flop down too hard and crush piglets. Torn is right on target and a fine sow.
Why does this pig have a short tail? I have seen that some of your pigs have longer tails. Whats the diff? Why dock some but not others? Is it because shes a breeding pig?
I have to comment in regards to size… she’s huge because she’s pregnant… I hear that about women sometimes too, and can only shake my head.
I agree with Walter, even though I don’t know much about pigs. She is a very fine lady. The obvious signs of no overweight would be face, and on the back you can even see the rib line,which is visible because of the weight of the belly (with the piglets). The legs are nice and slim, even though I’m not sure if pigs legs can swell like humans’ -so heavy legs might not count for much either way.
And after birth, it takes a while to get that girlish figure back – any mom will confirm that.
Walter, you are doing a great job, having moms in such good condition. That makes for healthier babies, and a lot less complications during delivery. Wish every animal would be raised like yours.
We don’t cut / dock our pigs’ tails. Rather what happens is when there is a very large littler some of the piglets in the first few days will mistake a tail for a teat. They have sharp teeth and nibble off the tails of their brethren. Since litter size is genetic we also see the short tails running in certain lines. This has been covered a couple[1,2] of other times.
I personally prefer pretty long tails on my ladies but they are what they are so I don’t nit-pick little details. :)
“I’ve given her hay with which to make her next. ”
Kick that spellchecker, Walter. I’m pretty sure you meant ‘nest’.