Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Fritz, we hardly knew ye.
January 1, 2009
Yesterday when I started to bed our 5 big hogs I noticed our boar Fritz was not moving. Upon closer inspection (I am an experienced nurse you know) it became obvious he was not breathing. Dead as a 500 pound doorknob. Sad. I was instantly sad. We had only owned Fritz and his farm mates Debbie and Anna for 2 months but they had all grown on us. Really, they all got bigger AND we had started to feel affection towards them. The cause of his death is at this time unknown. He was found in the middle of the group of five as if they were all keeping him warm. He looked as if he just passed on in his sleep. Heart attack ? He had not been ill, had not been off feed. He was only a year and a half old. He had suffered a little stress lately with the photo I posted of his backward breeding style but he seemed to understand it was just in good fun.
Seriously, Keith and I do take our animal husbandry seriously and although we understand that animals have life expectancies just like humans, we feel responsible when an animal dies unexpectantly. What did we miss ? What could we have done differently ? His prior owner told us that Fritz had been attacked by a coyote this past summer and nearly died, perhaps it was a complication related to that. (See the scar on his right thigh, he is the hog on the far left of the pic above. ) I've got some research to do. In the meantime we are hopeful that the four sows that ran with Fritz are bred so we'll have some little piggies to help us remember our first Red Wattle Boar.
Our new hog shed is almost complete and our remaining four large sows will be moved to the front east acres this next week. Too bad Fritz will not be part of that new adventure.
That leaves us with ONE Red Wattle Boar. Mad Max age 4 months. I'm thinking we should bring him into the house to protect the breed. There is a lot riding on that little guys shoulders.