Things have been busy here at the farm as is typical at any farm most any time of the year. We’ve had our goats kid, we have been working on the ground getting ready for planting, the pigs have started to farrow. On top of this we have had a few mishaps and some around the home appliance malfunctions and this is on top of the never ending cold that I seem to have. (since end of Feb beginning of March and its not giving up)
With pigs on the mind lately I thought I’d show a few pictures I was able to get of the Tamworth’s and Old Spots to help those who may be farrowing pigs for the first time get a visual of of signs of farrowing. Emily, the more yellow of the Tamworth’s farrowed the morning that these pictures were taken. You can see that her teats have dropped and that her vulva is quite swollen. Compare this to Fran (more red of the Tamworths) Fran is also swollen. Fran farrowed two days after these picture was taken. Petunia the Gloucestershire Old Spot, also posed for this indelicate photograph. Her vulva is not puffy at all. She has some time to go before she farrows as there is no milk letdown in her teats and she is not poofy yet.
So far we have had two litters both Tamworth X GOS. The one was a terrible litter of 5, yet all were born and are still alive. This mother will get to wean them and have one more go before she is off to slaughter because its not economical to keep her if she is only going to farrow a few at a time. Plus she is just awkward with the piglets laying the wrong way for them to get to the teats. She does however have a good length and structure.
The other litter was 1 stillborn, 1 crush, and 9 alive. This is not bad and she is good mother wise, very attentive and yet friendly with us. She is a bit shorter in body length but the numbers for her make the difference for us. She has thrown good sized piglets and tends to be able to raise them well. I’m excited to see how these TamX GOS grow out as these will be our first litters of crosses.