Phew! It’s been a busy few days here.
The first news I want to share is that the very first pig we purchased has given birth. Charlotte, our Duroc had five piglets on the first of June.
I admit was disappointed at the low number. Eight piglets is a small litter, let alone five. I think there are a couple reasons why there weren’t more. First, this is her first litter. First litters tend to be small in number. Also, the boar that covered her is getting up in years.
The good news about the small litter is that they’re getting plenty of milk from Charlotte.
The piglets look great. Two of them are slightly smaller than the others. Five days later, they have almost caught up in size. Three piglets are boys (boars) and two are girls (gilts).
You can see their umbilical cords in the video. Those fell off after three days. The cords can be an issue if they drag on the ground or if there are other piglets that might latch on. I didn’t have to shorten these. This is one of the nice things about pasture raising pigs–they aren’t crowded and are unmolested by the other pigs.
I didn’t trim the needle teeth. This can be hard on the nursing mom. My reasoning is that less interference is best. It doesn’t take much to sicken a piglet. Even notching ears, something that has to be done if you’re registering, is a significant trauma. Do as little as needed.