New Piglets and Sows in Underhill
People ask how many pigs we have. I have taken to just saying 300†. The reason is the number waxes and wanes. In three days this week it jumped by 41 as four sows had litters in the south field paddock we call Underhill.
The sows cluster their farrowings so the number jumps around. This clustering happens because the sows follow the leader of their cohort’s fertility cycles and because I wean them in cohorts which in turn creates cohorts. I would have expected Flo, centered, to be the boss sow in this cohort but it seems to be Charlie, in the back.
After the piglets are a week to ten days old they and their mothers will move to a new paddock, probably south field section two. Sows like to move their nesting area once the piglets are up and about – it’s sanitary.
The fathers are Speckles who carries classic Yorkshire white color genes and long body form and Guy Noir who is out of Blackie, of Large Black genetics. Guy looks almost like a black Yorkshire. He has some fine looking nearly finisher sized daughters and sons who look like perfect Yorkshires, long in body as we’ve been breeding, but black. Some of those gilts I’ll be holding back for breed testing.
Another new sow, thus previously a gilt, in the far south field had a litter of eight last night bringing this week’s total to 49. Two more groups of sows are very close to farrowing just behind this group so we may see another 70 to 100 more piglets in the coming weeks.
They certainly have some lovely weather for birthing. We’re all enjoying the easy season!
Outdoors: 77°F/53°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 74°F/66°F
Daily Spark: Government needs to say please.
†People don’t really want to know an exact count and sometimes I don’t even know exactly how many there are – this isn’t an assembly line factory. This is why the government’s Animal ID and Tracking program is so absurd. Yes, perhaps in a factory farm they think can track all the animals, but the reality is even there they don’t know exactly how many animals they have at any time. I’ve seen the insides. This is why the government gives Big Ag the Group ID exemption while making small farms tag and track every single individual animal which is far more costly. The purported purpose of the government’s proposed Animal Disease Traceability rules sounds all fine and nice – disease tracking. But on closer inspection it contains a lot of trojan horses and subsidies that feeds Big Ag while stomping on small farmers and getting the tax payers to pay for the circus. Originally the USDA called this the National Animal Identification System. NAIS sounds all too much like Nazis which it is all too much like. Later, after much public outcry, they changed the name to Animal Traceability and then Animal Disease Traceability. Despite promising to abandon the program they keep trying to implement it. It’s really all the same fascism no matter what you call it. The real purpose of NAIS is to aid Big Ag in their exports and to give them a false legitimacy. Consumers don’t want NAIS. Consumers who care about where their food comes from buy from small local farmers they trust. If Big Ag wants NAIS they should set up their own private system and pay for it rather than demanding that the American tax payers pay for their marketing expenses. And that was a long paragraph.