Friday, June 23, 2017

It's Like Pulling Teeth

After Olivia's false alarm Wednesday morning, my wife's papa called in someone Thursday to see if he could give the sow a pill to induce labor. The man advised against it, suggesting that we only do that should the piglets not arrive by next week.

Right after lunch, my wife and I received word that the piglet were born around 10 o'clock this morning. Four male - four female.

I was, at first a little disappointed that there were only eight. I had no idea how many piglets this sow might have, but I had read on line that in the U.S., 12 is the average. After giving it some thought, I believe eight might be enough for me to handle at this stage. If the owner of the boar that impregnated Olivia gets one, and we give my wife's papa one as a bonus, that leaves six for me. Should I decide to keep one for future breeding, that will give me five for lechon - a reasonable number, if I don't want them to grow too large.

I went over to the property within minutes of getting the news. After I took a few photos, my wife's papa said - what sounded to me like - "I will cut the teats now". That seemed a bit bizarre to me, but what do I know? I'm new to all this. He went into the pen where the piglets were, while I went into the empty pen. He handed them to me, one at a time.

When all the piglets were transferred, what he had actually said to me became apparent; "I will cut the teeth now". I held each piglet while he cut out their teeth using toe nail clippers. When one was finished, I'd put it back into the large pen with the mother.

That's one more thing I've learned about raising pigs.

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