|Barely awake Midlife Farmwife meets barely awake |
newborn Red Wattle piglet
But behind the scenes, the miracles are not so pretty, or as in the case of my own barn looks, average.
As I mentioned in my last post on Tuesday, Miss Debbie, the Matriarch of our Red Wattle herd, was due to farrow soon. We had no idea how soon but we're getting smarter. Instead of putting them in the farrowing pen a few days before the expected date, we now put them in two weeks before.
Good thing. Deb wasn't due until Feb 4, at least by our calculations. Apparently some rolling in the hay occurred BEFORE we witnessed it. Imagine that. And so yesterday morning we were a little (lot) surprised to see Miss Deb had gone ahead and birthed a bunch. 13 to be exact.
|Miss Debbie nurses newborns while still |
giving birth to more piglets at the
other end. Love those multi-tasking mamas!
|To the right, the beauty of farming, to the left|
We have farrowed outside before in groups but lost piglets when they were stepped on by other adults. Again they had plenty of room to move but chose to stay close to each other thus the reason we have moved on to the separate farrowing pen idea.
Yet, we still lost piglets.
We feel strongly that weak piglets are not meant to survive even though it may be possible to save them. Genetically, saving the less perfect of the breed will not in the long run SAVE the breed. The solution to preventing extinction is to raise healthy animals with strong genetics.
Rationalizing the loss of some of these piglets? Perhaps. But we have seen other breeders of purebred anythings, keep the offspring just to get the money which comes with "breeding stock." But how ethical is it to save animals whose genetics are weak, only to have them reproduce more weak offspring.?
|The amazing fact of hogs: weight at birth|
about 1-2 pounds. Weight in 6 months 200 plus.
Can you imagine keeping THAT baby in diapers?!
But when I hear of breeders who go all out to save those very sick, very weak animals for the sole purpose of increasing the farms bottom line...I get angry. Nature never intended for the weaklings to live and reproduce more weaklings, and I firmly agree with Mother Nature on this point.
And to be perfectly clear...this post is about ANIMALS, not human beings.