Wednesday, January 23, 2013


It finally happened! Rosie had her first litter yesterday. My mother had to go to the farm in the morning and Rosie seemed to be acting funny. She gave her some fresh hay and Rosie immediately started to try and make a nest with it and seemed to be having an occasional contraction. I got a call from her at work "Rosie seems likes shes gonna pop!" By some chance I got off work early that day and decided to go up to see how she was doing.

I went in to find Rosie like this:

 Breathing calm, but pretty clear contractions.  I didn't know how long she had to go, so i got her to flip over so the piggles could get to her tits. Look and her boobies! Ay, I can't imagine how bad its got to feel to have 14 sore boobies!

 Regardless, she seemed calm and I think happy to have me there. I encouraged here and gave her some space for a little bit. I came back with some water mixed with raw apple cider vinegar: she loves to drink that! Its good for digestion and she gulped it right down.
 After she had her water and she flopped down again I noticed he water had broken. About 15 minutes later she started really heaving. I looked back and there were little feet!
 Then with a little push it came out a little further....
 Then went back in. The little feet see-sawed back and forth for a few minutes and I considered the possibility her first on might be breech so I decided to time it. If it took longer that 15 minutes....just as I looked at the clock *POP!* out it came! Rosie's very first baby!
 I got one shot with the flash when Rosie heard it squeal and jumped up and turned around. That's when I realized I was in a bad spot: in order to possibly help her with a breech (okay, okay, and to see the first one happen~!) I had gotten in her pen and was boxed in to the sides and even ceiling and the only way out was by Rosie and her new born. Any other pig would have killed me. Rosie gave me the stink eye, but was also confused by the squirming and squealing thing.I managed to slip by her by making it clear I wasn't going to touch the little "thing." I tossed my camera aside because it looked like I might need to get in and grab one if she decided to flop down one.
 The next three popped out in fast succession. I was really surprised: maybe five minutes between each one? Rosie still wasn't sure what was going on and now she had 4 things squiggling about trying to nudge her. A few times she nearly trampled them to death. One of them kept screaming bloody murder whenever he fell over which would terrify Rosie so she'd hop up and start spinning around and everyone else would start screaming...She was having a very hard time of it. She was lying on her stomach wide eyed keeping an eye on the little things. She was so upset and the piglets were all over the place. It was below freezing and they were trying to find something warm: one got buried deep in the hay pile.

I finally decided to intervene. I got back in the pen with her and started petting her. She of course rolled over for a belly rub...and finally one of her piglets got to her nipple and latched on! THAT is what she needed! She started calming down and eventually the other piglets found their way over and latched on. You could see her relaxing with the situation and she started rolling over to give her teats to her babies.
 As she relaxed then next few piglets came out of her. We still had one in the hay. I was afraid to move it because anytime she heard a piglet squeal she jumped up and started freaking out. She seemed relaxed, though, so I gently uncovered it and moved it out into the cold. Of course it squeaked and Rosie saw it. Once again a panicked look came over her face, but this time she looked down at the piglets suckleing by her side, then at the straggler slowly moving towards her, then at me-then, unlike before, she stayed calm, looked at me, then at her baby and called to it without bothering her her other babies. He stumbled over to her, nearly going behind her, and Rosie stretched her head out to meet him and guide him gently to her belly. Rosie became a mother.
I left after she had #7...she seemed to be getting the hang of this mothering thing and I was freezing! I was dressed in my work clothes not knowing I'd be spending the evening in the barn. Shawn was finally back so I left him in charge. He did a nice job creating roll bars out of logs!

 Not living back at the farm yet means I don't get to see Rosie until I have time off work, but I guess she didn't have any more. My mother went by in the morning and she was protective of her new brood, but let her get a peek. Today they were running around, apparently. Can't wait to see who has floppy ears and who just has giant ears!

No comments:

Post a Comment