We do things a bit differently here, in that we leave the mom alone at least 24 hours after the babies are born, letting her bond, and nurse and bond some more. Having been given plenty of water and food the day before she is good until that 24 hr period subsides.
If any dead ones, and there was one, we leave them and often the mama takes care of it themselves. Usually as a late night snack. Some old timers felt that the deceased must be removed quickly or the mother will get the taste of such and consume all the others.
Now that's just silly isn't it? I myself am quite capable of eating just one cookie without eating the whole bag. Unless of course it's those double stuffed OREOS. Even a professional Twiggy- like model couldn't resist them.
I believe it has more to do with pigs being quite tidy and why leave a dead piglet around that not only takes up space but acts as a bit of a downer for the others, right?
We do check in on them to make sure none have any injuries that need care or serious birth defects that might need culling, but the rest of this group, all eight are doing very well.
While taking these photos today I again had to marvel at my husbands skills in building such a warm, solid studio apartment for the Mrs and her kidlets. All of it made from recycled materials. And just look at all the space in there! Now compare it, below, to what hogs have to cope with in confinement buildings, where over 95% of all the pork in the US comes from.
Keep in mind when looking on line for a picture of hogs in a CAFO I chose a very clean example and one where the pigs were not covered with sores. But even with the best of the worst you can see how little room they have and how contact with the mother's body is so limited. I hate those grates they lie on, even though the buildings are temperature controlled they are so very unnatural and HARD!
I love how Keith built this house. Some room at the bottom for air flow, tons of sunlight coming through the east door, the little doorway gate preventing the babes from wondering out at such a young age and of course a mama pig whose normal body temp is 103F.
And speaking of amazing bodies...look at how much baby fat Mrs. D. has already lost (top) compared to what she looked like (below) 3 days before the babes were born! That is so unfair. Just three days to get back in shape? It took me three months...OK, three years...OK OK...THIRTY YEARS!!!
Yeah, well if I'd been blessed with 8 babies to nurse instead of just one I'd be slim as a pig too.
Yes, I am aware that makes no sense.