Thursday, April 5, 2012
Big Fat Mama's Boy
You might recall our Red Wattle Sow Sophie. A medium red, full blooded RW purchased from Kiss My Grass Farm in Indiana, we obtained her as a youngster. Coming from a plain background with folks of simple names like Homer and Gertrude we thought she needed something more beautiful in a calling; thus Sophie.
Now, just 19 months old herself she has given us two litters. Sort of. The first litter she miscarried, about 1/2 way through her 4 month gestation period (Actually it is 3 months 3 weeks). Babies were well formed but came too early. After a rest period she was re bred and 6 weeks ago delivered what seemed to be 7 healthy babies.
The next am 6 were dead. No signs of fowl play. There were no feathers in the nest and our Turkeys had an ironclad alibi, they are terrified of the pigs. We suspect possible nutritional deficits and adjusted her feed. Maybe she needed a longer recovery time after her miscarried litter. The jury is still out.
We debated. Do we leave the last piglet with her? Do we take him inside? Do we leave him with her with only supervised visitation from his mother? Do we hire a pig nanny?
We had other things to do, so we left him with her and the roll of the dice came out well. Sophie has successfully raised one big fat mama's boy. Problem is...he is very spoiled. Sophie doesn't let him go far. Watches his every move. He can hardly run across the driveway to play with the donkey before she's calling him home.
He's not allowed to run with piglets of other litters no matter how often they come to his hutch to ask. Sophie insists they share all their meals together and she allows him to nurse. CONSTANTLY.
She makes him wear short pants and a bow tie.
I have yet to see him do a single chore, or even make up his own nest. I pity the sow who has to put up with him when he is breeding age, because she'll never compare to mama Sophie. The two of them have a very special language. Top secret grunts and groans and whispers.
They are always telling each other secrets. You know, the kind he would be better off sharing with other shoats instead of his mother. He does know how to make it laugh though.
Sure, he's cute but don't get too attached to him. He was sold at just a few days of age to a fine young RW breeder in another state. Soon Mama's Boy will go to his new home to grow big and spread the mighty RW gene.
If we can ever pull him off his mothers teat.