6 November 2001
You're NOT gonna believe this.....
So, remember Goldie, our wonderfully affectionate boar? The one with the castration scar, whom the vet later informed us only had one vestigial testicle? Who would always be firing blanks?
You can see where this is going.....
Having failed to move Goldie out of the paddock, for various reasons (incompetence, mostly), I've been going over to check Middly every day, just in case. She didn't look pregnant, but then, Kune Kunes are fat and round anyway, so who can tell?
I was away this weekend, so today I made the effort to go up early.
When I got there, the boys were eating outside, and no Middly visible. I dived into the ark, with a definite premonition. Sure enough, there she was, tummy hanging down, and her back end distinctly ready... she stomped up to me, grumpling...
About two minutes after I got into the pig-ark, she dropped the first newborn piglet in front of me!
As it turns out, it was just as well Dean and I were there - she was having painful contractions, which meant she kept walking around and wouldn't settle, and if we hadn't picked up the piglets, she would have trodden on them by accident.
So there's me, covered in blood and afterbirth, acting as midwife to a sow! Entirely without me being prepared for this, I may add. Gill, I wish I'd had you and Mark to hand for advice! As it was, we got the vet to come in, and he gave her an injection, and we managed six live piglets, and sadly a seventh stillborn one.
So I've been over there until she passed the afterbirth, and began to feed her babies, gibbering quietly the while - me, that is, not Middly, and now I've come home to drink beer and realise there are 24 pigs on the farm!
They are pure-bred Kune Kunes, and I'm crossing my fingers desperately that they all make it. I'm going to be over the farm bright and early tomorrow, as we're moving her back indoors, naturally, with her litter. They are gorgeous little darlings - mostly gold with black spots, but one with white markings, like her mum, and one tricolour one.
So, if you want to keep your fingers crossed for our little honeys, please do! I guess, as pure-bred, they'll be easier to find homes for. I really didn't think we'd ever be doing Adopt-a-Pig: the Next Generation... Plus, I've never actually been present while anything has been born before. So my mind is frazzled completely. What an experience...
I think I must go have a bath. :)
14 October 2001
The farm's still taking up a lot of time, so here's the latest bulletin:
Dot and Badger seem to be over their mastitis. Badger's has little flare-ups, but I think is on the mend. They're going to be having another course of antibiotics over the next five or six days, to be certain.
Dot's still feeding the piglets, but they're big enough now that there's barely room for eight piglets along Dot's tum! Badger has told them they're weaned, in no uncertain manner. Although Blitzkrieg still wanders along beside her, attached to one teat and happily slurping, and she sighs and ignores
I have got the weights of the piglets now, and they weigh at nearly 7 weeks what the parental generation weighed at 5 months. I feel we may have bred back up the bell-curve here, towards Oriana and Gordon and Grace... (Ray, little Porc may end up bigger than the Goldwing!) They all seem to be doing fine.
Patch and the other boys, Domino and Black-ears, are still having some chest problems, so they'll be getting antibiotics too. There's a possibility there may have been a fungal infection in the feed, or in a batch of hay, giving them a touch of pneumonia - though we're not sure.
So we're stopping the extra midday feed for a couple of days, and instead of pig-nuts and soya, we'll take them some bread rolls, and lots of cabbage and greens, as a treat. (And it'll be good for Dot, who still needs to make milk.) See if that and the medication will clear their chests. It doesn't look too serious, as they're certainly not off their food and water. They just seem a bit breathless.
We went up to see the big Kune Kunes in the field, and spent a pleasant part of the 77F day dozing in the sun with the furry piggies. If /\/\ac is a large pink can-opener, then we're definitely large pink back-scratchers... <g>
7 October 2001
I'm doing the feeds and strawing them up on my own, since Dean's off at the secret nuclear bunker this weekend, so I'm absolutely cream-crackered!
I'm still a touch worried about Badger's mastitis, which I think is clearing up okay, but I may get the vet out again to check. Also Patch is still panting a little, so he may need antibiotics again. But on the whole, everybody's good.
Had one of the pet-owners down this afternoon, a white-haired and well-spoken lady of about 60, I would think. She's adopted 'Beauty Patch', now known as Persephone. Sheila (the lady in question) was delighted to be told she could come into the pen - I'd strawed them up about an hour before, so everything was clean and nice. Her friend took photos, while Sheila got crawled over by eight friendly piglets. Owner and piglet have bonded. :)
Got another one visiting tomorrow - hopefully White-Ears gets her proper name then.
Oh, and as for a certain wicked little piglet called Porc... later on, he stretched out on my lap and went to sleep for about 40 minutes! Then he gave an all-four-legs-together stretch, wriggled a bit, and went to sleep again. So I ended up with all the big boys sleeping round me in a circle,
noses towards me to be scratched, and Porc hogging (groan) the limelight. What a cuddle-pig... :)
1 October 2001
Unfortunately, Badger and Dot have both come down with mastitis today (although Badger has been crabby for the past few days, so I wondered if she was sickening for something). That and the creep-feeding are taking up most of my time. The vet's given the girls injections which, touch wood, should have it cleared up in 48 hours.
This may mean feeding the nanopigs soya supplement by hand, as they're just about ready to wean, but not quite - 6 weeks old would have been better than 5. Still, they've already been on solids-plus-milk for some time, so hopefully they can make the transfer to all solids without too much trouble.
Dot's still feeding them, trooper that she is. Badger, who to be fair is much more sore, is determined to prove that nanopigs can fly - or at least that she can flip them a couple of feet off the ground...
15 September 2001
Okay, folks: four down, four to go!
Tama and Prudence were earmarked during the week.
Today Paul from Colchester has acquired Chevron - whom he's decided to call Blitzkrieg ... :)
I have to say, this is mainly because said piglet wandered up to Patch (18 months old, and who stands in the same relation to Blitzkrieg as a doberman does to a mouse) and decided to take him on in a scrap!
Patch merely *looked* at him, while Blitzkrieg gave him the piglet equivalent of "think you're 'ard enough, do yer?", and then meditatively and gently flipped the nanopiglet away. Blitzkrieg was last seen planning to invade Poland. :)
And Ray Hughes, of this parish, has taken on Specs, on the grounds that he matches the Goldwing... <fx: whimper!> Specs is now Porc! I dunno, talk about give a pig a complex. :) You can e-mail Porc if you like ...
So far, this is going remarkably well -- thanks to everybody who's offered help: we shall be calling on you shortly! The (rapidly-growing) nanopigs send their love.