Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last farrowing for now.

Big momma farrowed last night. First time I was able to witness most of the action. The first baby was a tiny little thing. About three hours later (after we returned home from a short jaunt) there were 7 decent looking little ones, the original runt and three beautifully formed and completely "non-functional" stillborns.

Came back in the AM to find the runt passed (I expected this, I could get her on a teat, but other 7 were vigorously thrashing about and she could not stay attached) and I think 2 squishing.

So out of 11, I have 5. Well, that was as of lunch. If history has taught me anything, they may all be squished by now.

So much for "they don't squash." I officially declare that idea complete horse-doody.

I am sort of at a loss. Labor seems long-ish, and the still births may have been due to placental asphyxiation (to long in the birth canal). So far I cannot find anything pathological that should be causing stillbirths. I'm going to implement a Parvo vaccination program and change farrowing setup.

And I have had enough of squishing. I must have lost 10 pigs this year to "rollover accidents."

This winter I'll be building 6x8 farrow pens in the machine shop with heated creeps to keep the babies out from under. Probably a wood floor under that portion and dirt for mom.

It's hard to convince a 600# sow to stop dragging material in to make a nest. There's too much straw/hay about for her to use.

Sigh. In any event I should have enough left to fill all of the orders for pairs and one gilt left for the freezer. If the pens and Parvo vaccinations don't improve things this winter, I'm thinking I'll put all of them in the freezer and take up fishing again.


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