Jolie Pregnant

Jolie Grazing in North Home Field

Jolie is modeling the latest in maternity wear just like her sister Angela did recently. You can see that Jolie’s back is starting to sway down a little as her belly becomes heavy with the fetuses. Her breasts have enlarged and become clearly defined. In a week she’ll look positively cow like down there. Soon she’ll build a nest, perhaps in one of the huts or in the brush. Typically just before giving birth she may drip milk and lose interest in food, all her attention being focussed on nesting in preparation for farrowing her next litter of piglets.

Winnie and Oreo recently farrowed their litters of piglets in the north home field. Jolie is getting close so we moved her over there this past week. The north home field is right behind our cottage and easily visible from where we’re working on the butcher shop so it lets us and the dogs keep an eye on things. The sows are enjoying the lush grasses and clovers.

Let to their own devices in a natural mixed herd situation where the boars are available the sows typically have about two to three litters a year. The weather has been ideal for popping out piglets. Now are the easy months. Some people mistakenly think that the farmer forces this rate of breeding but the reality is the sows are eager to rebreed and the boars are more than happy to oblige. No participation is necessary from the farmer in any way. All we do is note it on the calendar.

Outdoors: 72°F/57°F Partially Sunny, Light Rain
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to Jolie Pregnant

  1. Walter, with so many sows how are you able to “note it on the calendar” in regards to breeding ? Do you walk out in your fields every day ? We have a small farm and hogs pastured juts 50 feet from our front porch and we STILL miss heats and breeding. But we are getting much better at noticing the bellies dragging on the ground :)

    • We are out in the field every day, many times a day. Not 100% of the breedings get noted but I do pickup on most. You see, sows are screamers. They can be quite vocal. Heat lasts about three days and they’re even a bit on the sorny hide for a couple of days before that which alerts us to the coming breeding.

    • She says she feels great. Over the past night she coned up, that is her breasts have become fully engorged as she gets ready to farrow. But she’s still hungry which is a sign she isn’t quite ready to go. I expect she’ll start nesting in the next couple of days and then stop eating. I didn’t try tugging a teat. Just before she goes she’ll let down milk and even start dripping as she walks.

  2. Gil Romero says:

    Hola Walter
    Thank you as ever for your inspiration information. When you speak of “nesting” may I assume that you folks do not put your farrowing moms in those medievil looking “cages” (common in Mexico at least) which do not allow them to lay down and thus crush or step on their piglets with their formidable weight?
    As you can see, we are still with you gladly ansd as yet have managed NOT to sell our pigs to pay the light bill! One day at a time! Thanks again Walter. Saludos a la familia!
    Gil Romero, Yucatán, Mexico

    • No, we do not use gestation crates nor do we use farrowing crates. The sows build their own nests out of grasses, hay, sticks and stones – much like in the story of the three little pigs. See these articles for pictures and discussion. Good sows lay down gently to avoid crushing piglets. This is part instinct and part learned.

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