Monday, April 09, 2007

Even I can be wrong sometimes!

We got our results back at the end of March that Twerp is in fact, a girl! We're pretty excited (would have been no matter which gender our baby turned out to be) and all is still going well in babyland.

I had a wonderful Saturday night this past Easter weekend. Jeff had just gone out to check on the cows, one of our mares and one of our sows who could be having babies any day now. He came bursting into the house at 8:00 PM to say that the sow was having her piglets outside and the temperature was already below freezing! We had to rush to get out to the pig pen and get her across the yard into the heated machine shop (the only building we currently have heated in the farm yard). By the time we got ourselves coordinated, our hired man, Mike, was in the pen yelling, "There's a baby in here!" I scrambled to get the wheelbarrow and get some clean straw into it and he started passing Jeff the piglets to pass to me.

At that point I had 4 piglets in the straw and I ran with them over to the shop, got them under the heater and ran back. Then, Thor (the boar) got out of the pen and we were running around the yard chasing him to try and get him back in the pen. Once he was back in, Mike found that the sow had had another piglet. I ran with that one cuddled into my arms to the shop and popped it in with the other 4. We convinced the sow with much pushing and pulling to walk/run to the shop. Got her into a make-shift pen and what seemed like forever, but was actually fairly quickly, she calmed and laid down for the babies to nurse. The hard part was that they were cold and weak by this time and were rather lethargic. Four of the five just took a little convincing to nurse, finger in mouth, switch to teat, let suck, happy as clams. The last one (probably the first one born) was a little tougher. It was so cold that when I put my finger in its mouth, it was cold. I tried holding it up in front of the heater, but it didn't do the trick. I tried rubbing it with my hands, that didn't do it. I decided that I was so over-heated that maybe if I tucked it inside my coat, but outside my overalls it might get some of my body heat, nope. Then I decided that I was so hot myself that if I put it inside my overalls, but outside my sweater it would just have to get warm. It worked! I could feel its shivering lessen and its obvious stress started to relax. When I put my finger in its mouth it wanted to suck, so I switched my finger for a teat on its momma and it started nursing. Still, I would bring it back for a little bit of warmth and then back for more milk and so on.

In that time, she had one more piglet who was a little trooper and was trying to suck from the second it hit the ground. When we went inside we figured we'd done all we could and hopefully all six would survive. Jeff went out at 11:30 PM to check on the new family and again came rushing back into the house. There were two more babies and they were cold too! Out we go again and I get counting, there were actually three more babies. This time Jeff was prepared and used a hair dryer to dry and warm them quickly on the workbench. As he'd get one perky, he'd hand it to me and I'd get it sucking. I was finally in bed for the night at 12:30 and was I ready for it after kneeling on concrete for the better part of 3 hours.

Easter morning we checked on the babies before going to church and they were all in a perfect little row of nine, either sleeping or nursing, and were warm to the touch when I put my hand on their backs. All in all, it was about the most wonderful Easter I can remember.


At 7:33 p.m., Blogger Not Jenny said...

What a wonderful story!

If that is how you treat baby piggies, you my dear, are going to be a terrific momma to your own sweet Little One!!!


At 4:00 p.m., Blogger April said...

Awwwww. I agree with jen....wonderful story. I was wonderful enough to make me avoid bacon for at least a couple weeks. *sniffle, sniffle* ♥


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