farm update

a small family does natural farming down a Philippine village by the sea

Posts Tagged ‘mummified piglets

Farrowing time

with 2 comments

It’s raining pigs,  alleluyah!

I lost one of the sow card stapled on my gestating pen, so I called Roque the boar man, and asked for his records of boar services done a few months back. It was six (6) gilts mated successfully way back in June, so I was expecting that it will be raining pigs, or piglets, come farrowing time. For a start-up farm, it will be exciting, and hopefully not very maddening or sleep-depriving.

The first pair were mated on the same day, and they were both transferred to their farrowing cell, expecting a close-call attention. Unfortunately, the least one showing signs farrowed first, all dark brown,  some hardly formed, still-birth cases. All sad-looking 8 of them. I didn’t have the heart to take out my camera and snap a few for photo documentation. Mummified piglets, one comment at the pinoyagribusiness.com forum says. Did I had them vaccinated for parvo virus, someone asked. I didn’t, and I actually have no idea what parvo means. Another came up with bacterial infection.

The DA technician told me there is no history of parvo in town, so I can rule it out. I thought about how the boar can be the harbinger of silent diseases to every pen it visits, and I might have to go for artificial insemination (AI) next time. I debated about at first it bec I need the expertise of the boar man, the guy Roque, to tell me when is the best time for it.

With a heavy sigh we braced for the next farrowing. The next sow, gave us healthy 9 piglets, with just one fully-formed still-birth. Nothing of the abnormalities of the earlier farrowing. I heaved an easy sigh now, and took to the task of cutting thier teeth. I am doing it myself for the first time.

After 7 days, came another farrowing, this one took a long time to deliver, after 12 hours, the last and 9th litter came, when the caretaker thought all was done.

We’re tired, we’re happy now. The litters are all healthy, the sows are all nurturing. Looking at the record that Roque provided, our next farrowing is due in 10 days. But then, one is going wild in her pen, making a hole in ground, a sign that she is due soon. A few hours after being transferred to a hastily made cell, comes 8 extra-large litters. All looking good. My cup overflows.

I see blood as I clipped their teeth, but i’m getting the hang of it now. I also did, yes my first time, their iron injection, and looking forward to give it to the next batch.

For the care of the sow, there is fermented sambong in their drinking water right after farrowing. That serves as the antibiotic. There is virgin coconut oil (VCO) for the cord, uncut. VCO also is applied as a balm to the udder come milking/feeding time. It will also be handy in any other bruises, or cuts sustained by the sow.

We’re not done yet. There will be two farrowing more towards the end of the month.

Written by Veni

September 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm

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