Woke to a gorgeous, crisp, sunny morning and found this:
A brand new litter of 12 piglets ! Congratulations to mother Dot and father Mad Max. Dot is a crossbred we purchased last year from the Wettstein Organic farm in Congerville, Illinois and Mad Max is full Red Wattle which we purchased from Dot and Brian Jordon of Kiss My Grass Farms in Indiana. This is therefore Mad Max's first sired litter. This is also our first litter born completely ouside. (Special thanks to Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm for all his on line education in this area.) Litters born last winter were in the big Hogcienda Keith had built. Dot could have chosen that area as well this time but instead went to the far north end of her pasture and picked this very private , cozy spot.
To get to her you have to walk through chest high grass and weeds. We had noticed Dot going in circles last evening, pulling up weeds and knew she was making a nest, yet at 0630 her nest was a little hard to find. Since we have been very hands on with our sows this summer, Dot greeted us with a few grunts but felt no need to jump up or charge us to protect her litter. Close up shots were easy to take. So everyone, lets raise a glass of raw milk and toast all animals on pasture, where they should be.