Thursday, June 23, 2016

Three little piggies!

We have new life on the mini-homestead now. A few days ago, close to a week now, I think, our pot belly pig, Ellie May, gave birth. Sadly, most of her babies did not survive.

I found her early in the morning in a small shelter placed in the pig paddock, and could see that she had new babies. We'd been figuring she'd have them very soon since we'd seen her carrying leaves and small limbs to make a nest.

I saw some babies outside of the shelter that looked like they never made it out of the birth sac alive. Maybe they were born dead. And we could see 3 live babies suckling on her, with her just all content and on her side. Later in the day, we found 2 more dead babies where she had been laying. I'm guessing she laid on them because they were clean and free of the sac.

In all, it looks like she had a whopping 11 babies, with 3 of them surviving. They are getting all of her attention and milk, so they should do very well. They've been out and about in the paddock with the other pigs. The other two pigs (grown female and male) pretty much just ignore them, but Ellie May still grunts and snorts at them as a warning to stay away. Ellie May is full pot belly pig, but the other two are half pot belly and half American Guinea Hog, or AGH.

It looks as if the 3 babies are all males, which pretty well seals their fate for later on. We are raising small pigs so we can butcher them at home. Cute as these babies are now, they will outgrow their cute stage and become just pigs in a few months. Looks like we need to get started on building a processing station at the new homestead. We need that for pigs, chickens, and goats.

I need to set up an outdoor kitchen for canning in the hot weather, as I will be canning all the meat and rendering any lard.

In the meantime, enjoy this video of the three little piggies!

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