Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh baby !

Last night was an eeire and weird sort of night. Rolling clouds, bright full moon, breezes too warm causing the midlife farmwife to swoon. Sorry.  The last time I "swooned"  was 1975 and I'm pretty sure it was not romance related.

So, the sky was very Fall like, but last I looked it was still February in Central Illinois. Something is up, I thought.

This morning when Keith did chores he found this wonderful sight

Our crossbred sow Dot with her FOURTEEN piglets ! She looks very comfy and satisfied doesn't she ? I always had my babies just ONE at a time and I know I never looked this good after delivery. She farrowed in one of the custom made hutches Keith custom made this past summer. Its a great design with plenty of room for mom and babes and an area in the back that babies can snuggle into but remain safe from mom accidentally lying on them.

See the boards (two 2x4's nailed together) behind Dot ? And the way the hutch roof angles towards to bottom of the hutch.? Both these measures help decrease losses due to crushing. Those and the fact that mom can come in and out of the hutch as she pleases with lots of room to roam outside. Ideally we would have them farrowing in the woods, if we had any woods, but we do not so we do the best we can with the pasture and the hutches we have. With each version of this farrowing hutch Keith tweaks a part of the design and our survival rates improve. Another decade or so and we'll have this hog raising thing licked...chewed ? Smoked ?

Ooops. I forgot to thank Mad Maxx our Red Wattle Boar and daddy to these piglets. What a great job he did of passing down his Red Wattle coloring. Tomorrow we'll count wattles.

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