Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Deep Mud + New Piglets = Bad News

Late yesterday evening our farmhand came in and told us the sow was laying on top of some of her piglets.  Not too concerned, I said I'd go check on them.  Well, she was definitely ON TOP of them.  Three were completely buried in mud and one, while not in the mud, had its head covered in mud.  They had all apparantly suffocated.  Up until this time, we had not realized how deep the mud wallow was.  I found out when I stepped in to pull them out and ended up knee deep.  Matt had to help pull me out.  Then we had a bit of a heated discussion about the lost piglets.  I was the one who had read Large Black Hogs fare better farrowing on pasture, therefore Matt said it was my fault the piglets had died.  I said I had read they do better on pasture, I had never read anything about mud wallows.  I reminded him we do not know for sure they would have all survived if he had put the sow up in the barn before farrowing, anyway.  Then he lamented a little about the $500+ we lost from if they'd stayed alive.  I reminded him: don't count your chickens before they are hatched, or your piglets before they are grown.  Besides, I figure it is better to figure out what is wrong with our set-up on the 75% Large Black piglets, which are worth less to us financially, than the pure bred piglets. 

The remaining three piglets are doing great.  We filled in the large mud wallow.  The sow tried to make a new one today, but at least we know it is not deep enough to bury the piglets! 

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