Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Back from a trip down south. While I was away one of our Sows decided it was time to bring forth some new piggies into the midst. So Jo-Ann, with the help of some friendly neighbours got to handle the event.
Fortunately, we've kept track of all the breeding dates of the five sows we currently have and can figure out when they should farrow. Job last before I left was to get Peg the Pig into a farrowing stall we had built. In a hurry we just screwed a pallet across the back of a stall to make a safe area for the little piglets. Complete with heat lamp it makes a pretty comfy place with no danger of the Mom laying on the piglets.
We lost five of the litter of eight. A pretty tough blow. The cause seems to be that the piglets got away from the mom and got too cold. The culprit is suspected to be too much hay.
Picking up from that tragedy we have been building new stalls with farrowing rails. We're waiting for the next four sows to give birth and as their due dates come up we put them in farrowing stalls. It's still plenty cold outside and there wouldn't be any suitable place for them yet.
The farrowing rails inside keep the piglets from getting squished.
The rails were made from recycled logs that we used for the pen in the 80 year old hand built log barn. Reuse recyle.... that's our motto. And you can't beat the price. Speaking of which.... can you believe it cost $15 in screws just to screw the thing together!?!
This shows the piglet creep area at the back of the stall. Mamma can see 'em, but she can't get at 'em.
This is the 2 x 4 walkway over top of the creeps, so we can walk along the back without going into the pen. They are removable. We can lift them up and hang heat lamps down to warm their little butts. Nothing says comfortable like a warm butt.
No butts about it! Hope you're having a great week!