Friday, May 8, 2015

May is for Mamas - Part 2

Okay, so it wasn't my intent to write a second part, but we received some interest and since we have photos of nest building, we decided to share this way rather than just random photos.

As we expected after our Wednesday night post, Molly had her babies on Thursday.

The first real sign that Molly was about to farrow is that her teats were leaking milk, but she was still eating, which meant she wasn't ready yet.  Then, the next day she rearranged her bedding to build a nest.  This is very common for unconfined pigs to do (not something you would see those limited to a farrowing crate capable of doing at this extent--remember, happy pigs...)  Had these mamas had access outside of their paddock surrounding the barn, who knows what they may have collected from the field or woods to add to their nest, but this inspires ideas for the future.

Stall bedding before farrowing
Nest prior to farrowing
Stall bedding after farrowing
Molly is a great mama and had a big litter.  Her babies couldn't have lined up better in this photo!

The first 48 hours are critical and when we are most likely to see any mortality.  While this may surprise you, it isn't unusual.  Some babies just aren't as strong as the rest.  We really try to let nature take it's course and not intervene.  The strongest survive and that is what carries the herd into the future.

Here is a link to May is for Mamas - Part 1

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