Real Snow

Pigs on Snow

Those are some small grower pigs in the distance up among the brush of the north field. The taste of snow we got the other day was just a foreshadowing. Last night we got about two inches of snow and woke to a truly white world. Yet, like the snow of a few days ago this too will likely melt today or tomorrow. There is still time to get fall construction projects done… I hope.

Pigs on Snow
Torn took this last evening to move out of her lovely nesting area in the home field area. Sows seem to want to get away from the herd as they get ready to farrow. Perhaps this isolation helps with preventing piglet crushing.

Torn went to the far end of the north field where she built a nest of dirt on the crown of the dam. While admittedly it drains well, I was not impressed with her choice – piglets would be too likely to wander down into the pond and drown. So with a bit of coaxing, a sorting board, two dogs and some bread we walked her out and up the road back to the home area. Like the third little pig, she was quite reluctant to move from her nest of stones.

In the photo above Holly’s carrying a folding sorting board we used to get Torn moving in the right direction although by the time the photo was taken Torn was following along behind me as I dropped her the occasional hot dog bun. This leads to the obvious thought of putting hot dog buns inside a pig being a little recursive

We gave her the summer main garden where there’s an open shed. She is now nesting there. Torn has started to lactate – I can squirt milk from her teats – but she is still hungry so I suspect she’ll farrow tonight or tomorrow morning. The weather is supposed to improve so her timing may be just right for farrowing out a nice large fall litter.

Torn is called Torn not because she’s the spitting image of the great Rip Torn, which has been argued both ways, but rather because she has a torn right ear from a fight that she did not start. She’s a very well tempered sow and an excellent mother. Naming animals around here is almost always based on some distinctive physical or behavioral characteristic. We used numbers long ago but they were just too awkward to communicate with. e.g., Number 591-12-9099 just mated with number 911-21-1239… Thus Torn is Torn and not merely some number.

The cottage door was open which dropped its temperature a bit. We haven’t yet done a fire in the cottage. Soon though. Like last year, we won’t heat the old farm house this year since it is just storage for tools and such. It is a big relief not to try to keep that space warm. Interestingly, the farm house has continued to remain reasonably warm.

Outdoors: 50°F/28°F 2″ Snow
Farm House: 61°F/53°F
Tiny Cottage: 55°F/48°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Real Snow

  1. Holly says:

    Walter, you forgot to tell them about the little rodeo performance that Torn and I put on for you and Will. Before we got the bread to lead Torn, she was quite reluctant to cross the fence that we had put down to allow her to get to the road. The pigs don’t forget where a known fence has been and even with the fence gone, they will avoid crossing “the line.” So Torn was stuck at the fence line while Ben ran back to the farmhouse to get some bread for her. At one point she decided that, despite our coaxing otherwise, she was going to take all 500 or so pounds of her back to her nest. She turned towards me, put down her head and moved forward. I ended up on her back riding backwards for quite a few yards before I finally got my feet on the ground and was able to slip off her backside. I was laughing all the way. Even though I could not see the scene for myself, I looked hilarious in my mind’s eye.

  2. Anonymous says:

    She probably picked that spot to take advantage of the heat rising off the pond. I had a sow who did something similar a few weeks ago.


Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.