Well after a year or so of raising pigs we finally had our first successful farrowing on the farm!
Trixie, one of our Large Black sows had a litter of 6 piglets early Monday morning.
Five of them have now made it through the “danger zone” of the first 3 days when they’re most likely to accidentally get killed or injured by their mother. Sadly there was one little boar pig who got stepped on and didn’t make it.
The other boar and his four sisters all got their first checkup this morning.
The little fella eyeballing the camera just went from a boar to a barrow (he was castrated). All of the piglets got weighed and ear-notched. This ought to help us keep tabs on their growth and make better decisions about our breeding program going forward.
I’m now convinced that ear-notching is the way to go with pigs. The little guys hardly seem to mind it, protesting at being held immobile without so much as a whimper at their ears notched. Plus we have several pigs with ear tags and I’m not all that impressed with how they hold up to the rough-and-tumble antics of pastured pigs. The tags work fine for feeder pigs, but by the time a pig is big enough to breed the tags are all but illegible. Annette, our GOS gilt, is our only breeding stock with an ear-tag. Being purebred, she is also ear notched, as required by most breed registries.