Our latest babies: Home-made baconers

Monday, August 4, 2014

We heard the rushing feet down the hall & knew that Zai must have an announcement to make. He'd been up early checking his pregnant sow just as the first rays of light appeared on the horizon across the valley.  Sure enough he ran in & triumphantly exclaimed that Delores had finally her piglets & all looked well.  Quickly, the whole family appeared in various forms of jackets & beanies over pyjamas, anything quickly grabbed to brave the winter cold. We rushed down to the pigpen to see these newest members of our little farmyard. 
Day 2 
But you see, that's not really when this story started:
It all started 3 months, 3 weeks & 3 days or so before.... 
( & their conception is far too good a story to not record (don't worry, it's G rated))

Day 1 am

It was a warm March afternoon & Delores had escaped from the pig pen again.  This is typical for her when she is on heat & no matter how assured we are of her being in ( & she never gets out at any other time), every time she goes on heat she find the weaknesses in our mobile pigpen set up. (FYI: We have now upped the voltage on the electric fence with a larger solar panel ~ it even makes Dave jump high!) .  Thankfully this particular time instead of heading off to visit a neighbour as is her custom previously, she had only found her way into the house yard.  Boris followed closely behind her intently annoying her as is his custom when she is on heat ( which is exactly why she escapes at this time).

Since we really don't like to encourage livestock of any kind in our house yard, we quickly went out to move them back  to their pig pen.  All was going well in the movement, Dave, myself & Ellie were steadily pushing them towards the gate when Delores stopped.  I don't know why, but conditions must have been right. She leaned up against the house & Boris efficiently did his job!
...And that, folks, is the closest to home our pork has ever been made! In fact for it to be any closer they would have had to be inside....

Day 1
When we made our way to the pig pen that event-filled morning, we found an exhausted Delores & 8 tiny piglets (one was a teeny runt that sadly died later that day).  They were so adorable.   We stayed just a short while as we didn't want to disturb the amazing bonding process taking place between mother & babies.  The rest of the day, however, found us at various intervals creeping down there & watching these little pink bundles through the fence. Watching piglets is so addictive!
Day 1 ~ we had just one spotted in this litter!

On the first day they do very little but sleep & eat ( like all babies).  Although they seem to almost double in size & ability each day of that first week!
Day 1

Much to our astonishment the next day Delores brought her babies outside for some time in the warm sun!  We love that our animals have plenty of space to free range. Our pigpen is only about an acre in size, but it works well for the pigs (once summer comes we do limit their space a little more as there is nothing for them to eat & so we need to compliment their diet).   I was able to creep into the pen & get some photos & video using my zoom lens:

The little piglets had such fun playing together & rooting around in the soil enjoying themselves!  

Day 2
 What a blessing these 7 piglets are to our farm! We ended up with 4 male & 3 female which is quite unusual for Delores who has primarily had male piglets in her past two litters.  We are also excited about the increase in size of her litter. We are hoping the extra calcium she has been getting in the form of left over raw jersey milk means she is carrying better. 
Day 2
 We are so excited about the prospect of pork, bacon, salami & a myriad of other products as we continue to experiment for next year (YUM) although at the moment these piglets are far too cute to consider eating.

(However I did notice this morning that their sides were getting longer: longer sides = more bacon ;). 
~ Did I tell you how much we love our home cured bacon??!!?? ~

Have a lovely day friends

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