Having missed BlackBetty’s farrowing completely we wanted to be sure to see Pop, our second pregnant sow, giving birth to her piglets. So last night after dusk we started two-hourly checks on her. It was blinkin’ cold, and throughout the night she destroyed her next completely – the pictures below show how she had flattened it and the 3rd picture is her rebuilding it. The featured image above shows the construction as we found her just before 9:00am with 3 piglets already born and suckling.
Over the next hour and a half we sat or stood or played with BlackBetty’s piglets while Pop calmly and quietly gave birth to a further five live piglets – 4 all black and 4 heavily spotted. We will sex them tomorrow probably. An hour after we took the last video she had expelled two healthy placentas (which she will probably eat when she gets up for a stretch and a scratch and a drink).
We will keep an eye on her for the rest of the day and into the night, but after our experience with BlackBetty we feel fairly confident that these little “oinks” are off to a good start. The biggest learning point for us has been the value of regularly handling the sows (and other pigs) which we are confident has enabled the sows to trust us being so close and handling the piglets at birth.
Jane, Toby and I hope you enjoy these videos – and make no apologies for the quality of the vids, but I do apologise for my runny nose and constant sniffing on the soundtrack!
Including the birth of the 4th piglet, who was spotted
Focused on the 4 piglets and a quick look at BlackBetty’s piglets in the next paddock…
Three little oinks shot out in quick succession…
More closeups – all nicely dried off and settling to the teat.
A very calm Pop with her piglets – sadly my phone ran out of memory before the 8th and final piglet was born.