Sunday, 25 August 2013

Large Black X Berkshire Piglets!

We finally had our litter of large black cross berkshire piglets. Our Mumma pig being the Berkshire and she was bred to a Large Black boar. Her due dates ran from Monday Aug 19th - Sept 3rd as she was with the boar for 2 weeks. Mumma pig ended up having them on Friday August 23rd, 3 boys and 2 girls - 3 pure black ones, one more Berkshire looking one that's all black with 4 white socks and one black and white spotted one. 4 of them all have their ears back against their heads but the black and white one has her ears straight up like her Mum!

Needless to say, they are all cute as ever!

I would say the only thing that changed about Mumma pig was her increase in milk the day of her farrowing. When I squeezed her teat a steady stream would come out where as before just the tips would get wet.  She was still up eating and walking around, still very lazy but she had been like that for the passed week. Last Friday was when she started showing in her milk rack, so now we know once that happens she is about a week away from her due date.

I am so back and forth about common practice vs natural. It is common practice to clip the piglets wolf teeth, some people even think that it makes them have shorter teeth when they are older, which isn't true. They end up getting their adult teeth no matter what. BUT it does stop the piglets from harming each other and being hard on their mum. I think only having 5 piglets and 12 teats there won't be very much fighting, I just worry about how hard it will be on mumma - I will just have to keep an eye on her.

Another main stream practice is castration. I am not against castration as a whole I think in most cases it is a responsible thing to do. We castrate our dogs, cats, horses etc. My only problem is HOW we castrate piglets, I'm not sure how they got such a short end of the stick when most other animals are treated much better. With a piglet the common practice is to slice open their scrotum and actually rip out their balls, slap some baking powder on and grab the next one! I have decided I am going to castrate (I've been reading a few blogs on people that don't castrate and haven't had any problems with boar taint) but I am going to have a vet do it and use a drug called Medicam (used alot in Europe) it freezes the area not only for the procedure but for the next 3 days as well. I feel a lot more comfortable about this.

Ok Ok, enough jibber jabber from me. Here some pictures!

A little bit of pig bullying happening here!?!!?

There is my shoe to show their little tiny size!

Black and White piglets ears are up today!
Here is a little video. They aren't really doing too much but just being their super cute selves!