Monday, 2 September 2013

Piglet Integration

I have been in a bit of a dilemma with these new piglets. I would have loved to leave Mumma pig to farrow outside in the fresh air and around the other pigs so that the piglets would be immediately integrated and part of the herd. Problem is; we have serious predator issues and haven't figured out how we are going to deal with it yet as well, I don't know how the other pigs would treat the new additions (intentionally or just clumsiness)

I don't want to just kill any predator that comes onto my property, then what is the point of living in the wilderness? But it is very frustrating when you raise up your animals only to see them become a predators meal, that's when I know I may have to take stronger measures.

We put Mumma pig in a stall to farrow her babies and as soon as they were up and about and Mumma pig started to insist on being let out of her stall. I had thought about keeping Mumma and the babies in the stall until the boys were castrated and healed (vet is coming tomorrow) but Mumma really wanted out. She started banging on the stall door around day 4 (she actually has taught herself to open the stall door so we have to chain it now) so we decided to let the piglets out on day 5 after we gave them their iron injections and just see how the other pigs reacted. 

Last time when we had the two piglets I had been too nervous to add them into the herd until they were about a month. When I let this litter out when they were 5 days old I was to pleasantly surprised how sweet and gentle the rest of the pigs are to them. Its even common for me to go out into the paddock to find the piglets cuddled up with somebody other then Mumma pig. Watching them I have actually realized they all do baby sitting duty if Mumma pig is off grazing - once again - pigs are smarter than we think!