It’s one of the most rewarding and challenging times on the homestead, showpig farrowing season. This week we had babies being born for so many different shows. I wish I could say that all went smoothly, but that is not always the case.
On Wednesday night, after a busy and full day, I was more than ready to head off to bed at 9pm. Sir Swine informed me that he would be needing my assistance.
On the homestead during farrowing season I know this means pretty much only one thing. A piglet is stuck. And I have a smaller arm to help smooth over the situation.
I do not mind sleeving sows but I feel for them. I have had two children myself so I get it. Every time I sleeve a sow I sing to her, talk to her, coo at her calmly the way I want when I’m in labor. It’s just my thing.
The problem is usually a pig that is coming out upside down. Never easy since they get stuck on the cervix and then everyone else trying to get out piles up behind them. Sounds bad right. Imagine how the sow feels!
My job is to gently turn them the correct way and coax them out.
I know there are some out there that think this is mean but please hear me out. In the simplest terms I will say this, if a pig is stuck and the sow can not pass it two things happen. The piglet, and any behind it, will die. And the sow, with dead pigs inside her, will become very I’ll and probably die as well. We do NOT want this for our girls, so we assist them. If they can do it on their own, we are elated! That’s our goal self farrowing sows, but we don’t always get our wish.
Two hours later we had assisted the sow in farrowing four, very large, piglets. With the boys there waiting patiently, for the most part, we welcomed-in order of birth- Jack Sparrow, Fiesty, Jello and Lucky.
Not a huge litter but I’m happy to report all are doing well. Including a wonderfully nursing sow.
Farming is not always easy. There are days that make me want to cry. I’m so thankful this time was a happy ending. Those are always my favorite.
Happy homesteading. What is your least favorite struggle on your homestead?