Learning to speak pig

Ginny and Hermione, our two Tamworth gilts, are due to farrow any day now, we think. It will probably be the second or third week in February. They are looking very, very pregnant, and the milk ridge is starting to develop. Since we’ve never had piglets before, it’s a bit scary, to be honest.

Ginny spent three or four days constantly getting out of their pen, and I couldn’t figure out what she didn’t like about the Pig Palace. She’d bash out a corner and head into the horse pasture, while Hermione would ignore the escape route and stay put. Prince, however, does NOT like a pig in his pasture, thank you very much, and turns into a freaking war horse and goes into attack mode. It’s really scary to be around, and dangerous for all of us. Well, probably not him, but me and Ginny to be sure.

Ginny, on a mission She was on a mission, though, and I had to figure out what her deal was, so I followed her around, and kept the horses away as much as I could. She found an old shelter we’d used for the sheep a couple of years ago, where the ground wasn’t frozen, amazingly enough. All that old hay made great insulation, I guess. She settled right in, started nest building. If only her food and water was there, she said, she’d be all set. When she got hungry, she was really unhappy, because her food was on the other side of the horses, poor thing. It can’t be good for a very pregnant pig to get chased and scared to death by a huge angry Percheron.

I think I’ve got her figured out now, though. They didn’t have enough bedding in the Pig Palace to each take a side. They’ve always snuggled up together, and move all the hay to one side so it’s deeper, I think. But now they are so big that I think they are going to want one on each side, so need that much more hay.

At least, that’s my theory. She’s staying put, anyway, and seems happier. But they are now both sleeping on the other side with all the new hay, so it’s still a bit confusing. I’m only just learning to speak pig! I obviously still have a lot to learn.

[edited later]

Frank gave them yet another bale of hay today, after we got another delivery, and for the first time, they are each on one side. Maybe they have enough bedding now. Perfect! The snow is coming down really hard tonight, and I bet we have another foot on the ground tomorrow. I did not want to think about Ginny farrowing somewhere other than the Pig Palace!

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