Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Have Hub, Will Travel

A quick visit to Radio Shack on the way home (my only nearby source for computer bits) put an end to my plug-unplug-plug-swear-unplug-swear-plug antics. Hurray for hubs!
And now we return to our regularly scheduled blithering...

In early August, I made a trip with my youngest daughter to upstate NY to visit my dad. My oldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids drove up from Florida to be there at the same time. (And not-coincidentally, it was my birthday. A very happy birthday for me, to have both my daughters with me at the same time!)
Daughter-the-younger and I arrived the day before the rest of the crew, so we had a chance to settle in and check out all the cool critters.
There were freshly sheared alpacas

and some spiffy new Barred Rock pullets.

And piggies! These are either a week old, or two weeks old. (I got confused after a certain point. There were pigs everywhere - multiple litters in multiple colors in multiple barns.
My favorites are the polka-dotted ones...

On Sunday, while we were waiting for Older daughter and Co to arrive, we had some big excitement. Dad has cameras on several of the pens, in order to keep track of what's going on out in the barns. One of the young sows (who wasn't really due for another couple of days) was in labor and had already had two piglets. Which she was chasing and trying to bite. Naturally I grabbed my camera and headed out to the barn with the rest of the troops.
As a first time mother, she was irritable and confused. Here she was, hot and in pain, and suddenly there were these pesky things that were plaguing the hell out of her, snuffling and nuzzling and squeaking. We finally had to pull them from the pen, because she was too agitated to do anything but stomp around and try to boot piglets. Once they were gone, she settled back down and laid down again.

After about half an hour's wait, Piggie number 3 made an appearance.

Followed by Number 4.

By this time, she had her butt up close enough to the wall of the pen that I was afraid the babies were going to be born with concussions...
As each piglet was born, my WickedGoodStepmother would give it a chance to try to nurse, until mama pig got too agitated, then would rescue it and drop it into the bin we'd set up for the babies' protection.
These little squirmers are all looking for something - they don't know what it is, but they're sure they'll know it when they find it. They're sucking on each other's noses, tails, and ears, because Mother Nature had promised them that there'd be food. Gives a whole new layer to "Got Milk?", doesn't it?

Older Daughter & Crew arrived about that time. The grandkids were fascinated by the bin full of baby piggies.

The count mounted. Here we are at seven. I love the variety.

After about the 10th one, Mama just didn't give a shit anymore. So we pulled them out of the bin and returned them to her, where they proceeded to clumsily look for spigots.

This little guy finally figured it out.

And eventually, so did the rest of them. But by that time, my camera's batteries were out of juice...


Dorothy said...

What a great experience! I'm sure farm kids consider all of that old hat, but us city kids find it fascinating. Glad Mama calmed down and assumed her role as provider of milk.

amy said...


Bullwinkle said...

:) What fun and excitments!

Anonymous said...

Poor new mama! But once the piglets got going on her and the prolactin (is that right? and do pigs have prolactin?) started flowing, I bet she was happy and content and proud, in a piggie sort of way.

Angie said...

Happy Birthday!!

The polka dot pigs are so cute. Quite exciting and I can imagine the annoyance she was feeling. ;)

Norma said...

OMG, the cute!!! How does something that starts out so little become so HUGE?!

Laurie said...

A-MAZING. Teeny. Cute. They look just like little wild boars.

kathy b said...

such a great post... I loved all the images....piggy piggy piggy
love the different colors. are they like cats? do they have more than one father???

Erika said...