Swee had eight baby piglets that morn, I figure about 7am. Two still had yuck on them and were off to the side and she was nursing the others already. I left them for a little while in case she wasn’t done cleaning them up. Later Marty went back with me and he took out the one that wasn’t moving and was lying on its back. We thought it was dead. It was alive but very chilly so he warmed it up in the sun and rubbed on it. A little girl.
I climbed in with Swee and put the other yuck one on a teat as it couldn’t seem to find it. Then I moved the runt closer also. The one Marty was warming still had the umbilical cord on it. We put it back next to her belly. Later we checked again and it wasn’t eating yet but was staying warm. The runt was starting to eat a little by that time.
Later in the day, we were working on the back porch, jacking it up cuz it was sloping so badly, and I thought I’d better check on the babies again. We hadn't given Swee any food yet as we didn't want to disturb her.
But, what a scare! Swee was still in the same position and still grunting. The babies were still feeding. But she hadn’t moved and still had the afterbirth behind her. With her previous three litters she cleaned up the afterbirth pretty quickly. But, this was about 6 hours later.
I got worried and went in with her. I moved her tail aside to check and make sure she didn’t have anyone stuck. She just grunted and didn’t get upset with me. That got me even more worried.
I have to say that unlike all the stories I've heard of sows being mean, she is a really super good pig. She never gets upset with me if I climb in with her and the babies, at least not the first few days. She lets me pick them up, check them out, etc. If she doesn't want me to handle them she makes a little more assertive grunt at me and I back off. But, this letting me fiddle with her back end...well that was a real surprise.
So I ran back to the house and got the guys. I was pretty worried.
Marty gave her the golden treat - two apples - and she got up and ate them. Apples do it every time! Then she ate the afterbirth which makes me gag and I can’t watch it. I can deal with a lot of blood and gore, but not that! She wanted more apples so we gave her another three and then some turnips and she drank some water. Whew!
She must've been really wiped out.
We got a good look at the little kids. They are now considered the “babies”; the last two litters are the “boys” and the “girls”. This new litter had one runt and then the one that we thought was dead. The runt and the gimped up one that was cold can’t move their back ends well, but they were getting around some. That was a great sign. I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had lost them. But they must’ve got enough to eat and got warmed up. They all seem to be doing well. And this morning they are all starting to chase each other around.
|Swee with her first litter. Look like little puppies!|
They are only about 5-6" when born.
|Swee is a great mom. This is her talking to Marty|