Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Amazing Radiator Pig

This is Didi...oops those are the boys...
Now, this is Didi in the pic below.
She is the super tiny piggie second to the right.

   Didi is our Amazing Radiator Pig. She is tiny as you can see partly because she is from the third litter (the larger girls in the pic are from the second litter). She is also just small. And, very curly. But the small part is the important part of the story that caused the whole problem.
   Last Tuesday it rained. Many days lately are rainy. And, the pigs were out on pasture in the old tomato area which has some white clover in it. Our pigs are total pasture pigs, no grain or feed and just hay in the winter. So, springtime is when we move them onto the new clover. They do pretty well eating the clover, until it rains. Then the clover becomes a huge mud hole.
   I went out in the early eve to move the cages and say good night. Boys first as they were closest, all fine. Then to the girls Didi! I saw the larger girls in the mud, mucking toward me, but no Didi. Then I saw her. All the way at the back and half in the mud just lying still. I climbed in.
   oops. I was wearing some boots that came from someone much larger than me, boots two sizes too big and slit halfway down the back also. I got stuck! I couldn't pull my feet up without the damn boots coming off! Finally, struggling, I got to her and pulled her up out of the mud. She was limp. I struggled back to the front of the pen and yelled YELLED for help. One boot came off and was lopped over in the mud and I was balancing with the pig on the other foot with my sock foot on the cage, trying to figure out how to get out.
   Marty heard me, thank goodness, and came to help. I took Didi up to the house and put her in the tub, thinking I would just start some warm water on her to get the mud off and see if she was okay. Her eyes were open and a little responsive, opening wide when worried and then drooping again. So, I knew she was in there. I started lightly pouring warm water over her along her neck and back, warming her up. She was freezing. She never moved. Every now and then I would lift her and let the water drain, still no movement but a widening of the eyes again.
   After a couple hours Marty found me. He didn't know where I had taken her as he had set out to get the cages onto some more sturdy grass areas. By then Didi was somewhat cleaned up and warmer, but I didn't know what to do. Every time I quit with the warm water she would begin to shiver and breath raspy. She had closed her eyes and was just lying there. I didn't know how much mud got in her mouth and nose, or in her lungs. So, I just kept the water going to keep her warm. I was exhausted by the time Marty found me and wondering if we should just put her down. It wasn't looking too good.
   But, we decided to wrap her in a couple of old towels and lay her on the radiator. She was tiny enough that she fit on it perfectly. Marty pumped up the heat in the house and she was staying warm. But, she was still rasping and not looking good. We considered just putting her down, but decided to give her the night and see how she was in the morning. Unfortunately, in the morning and for all the next day we would be in Chicago delivering. So, we had to decide by morning what to do.
   I got worried she would roll off the radiator if she woke up, so after a couple of hours on it when she was good and warm I moved her to the floor in front of it. She laid there and didn't move, sometimes opening her eyes, and sometimes rasping a little. We left her for the night.
   At 4am, my usual thinking time, I got up and checked on her. She had scooted herself around and out from under the towel, nose still under the radiator. She made a little grunt. Hm. Good sign. So I left her again. And, of course, Petie was concerned (he is very sensitive to others' needs) and he stayed outside the door the whole night worrying away about the radiator piggie and keeping watch.
   At 6:30 I checked again and she grunted more and was moving a little. I opened the cabinet and when the door squeeked she grunted more. Then Marty came into the bathroom and she popped up to see him. Weird! She appeared fine! She started trying to eat his socks. I got some wheat berries in a little water with a dash of milk and she gobbled it up, grunting for more. Whew! If a pig eats, it is okay!
   We still didn't want to put her out in the cold so kept her in the dog kennel all day. Mom came and checked on her and moved the kennel near the hall radiator when Didi looked cold. She fed her and the piggie gobbled that down too.
   The next day we took her outside and put her in a small cage while I cleaned out the kennel. She ate some grass, laid in the sun, and just grunted like normal. Now she appears fat and fine. We put her in with Pea (in the pic on the far left) and they are doing great now.
   That is how Didi became our Amazing Radiator Pig


  1. I just love a good story! But better yet, I just love a great ending. Hurrah for the Radiator Pig. I think that sounds like a Grandma Who story. Can you send me pig pictures, pen pictures, anything that would help with the story. I love it! Grandma Who and the Radiator Pig! Love it!

  2. Great story, and congratulations on keeping her!