When will she farrow?

Wilhelmina (we call her “Mina”) is one of our best Tamworth sows. Her mother is Hermione, one of the two sows we got from Kingbird Farm three years ago. Her father is Harry, a boar from East Hill Farm, where we took two sows to be bred the first year we kept pigs. The father of the babies is Albus, of course, our boar who we got from Hogwash Farm.

She’s a very reliable sow, often having two litters a year. She’s a great mother, too. Her litter size isn’t huge, usually between 6 and 9, but that’s okay, because she doesn’t squish piglets and is quite attentive. She doesn’t even fuss much at us when we need to notch ears after they are born.

She prefers to pick her own nesting spot, and we usually let her, but right now, with this relentless weather we are having, there really isn’t a good spot out there for her to choose. Everything is covered in snow or is deep mud, and we are expecting yet another damn storm and 12+ inches of new snow tomorrow. Grr. I am so done with winter!

Anyway … we parked the livestock trailer out in the pig paddock. We tried to lure her in there, but she wanted nothing to do with that. It’s really hard to convince a 500 pound pregnant sow to go someplace she doesn’t want to go. Even really good food didn’t do the trick.

But we left it out there and I was pretty sure she’d go in on her own, and she did. We check last evening, and she was in there with two other big pigs, so we just closed the door and then I convinced the other two to exit, which really wasn’t too hard.

Any second now So now she’s got the entire trailer to herself and her future babies. She’s got lots of straw for bedding, and we can feed her separately from the rest of the herd, which is good because she’s not very aggressive at the feed trough, believe it or not, and I worry she wasn’t getting enough. She lets herself be bullied a bit too much for my taste. She’s got growing babies in there and needs lots of calcium and calories.

This trailer is way bigger than a traditional farrowing crate — it’s at least three times her size, so she can move around quite a bit. I’m not going to let her out until she farrows and the piglets are a decent size, though. I’m thinking of it sort of like a stall in a barn. (If only we had a barn …. )

So now the big question is when will she farrow and how many will she have? She looks awfully close, doesn’t she?

Guess correctly and win a pint of maple syrup and a pint of lard!

(Or you could just buy a quart of syrup from us on Etsy!)

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21 Comments

  1. Jamie Samons
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m predicting 9 babies on April 2…but I’m headed over to Etsy for syrup anyway!

  2. Laurie
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I say she goes tomorrow, and has 10 piglets.

  3. Cathy Geary
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I am guessing early morning hours of April 3rd and she has seven.

  4. Cody
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    2 days and 6 hours and she will have 8 piglets

    good luck with everything, thanks for sharing the picture and the story

  5. Angela N
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    My guess is April 15th. Close to the full moon. 🙂

    • Frank
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Let’s hope not. She will be leaking milk within 48 hours if she doesn’t farrow.

  6. Courtnay
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I say Mina will deliver tomorrow, April 1st at 10 pm! I hope I win! : )

  7. Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m guessing……she’ll have ’em, between 10pm tonight and noon tomorrow and she’ll have…7 iddy bitty piggys.

  8. Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I really, have no idea, as I don’t know pigs at all, so really, my guess is a real guess based on nothing…I hope I’m guessing on the right spot…as some are commenting on the link on facebook….

  9. Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    After reading the story of her…she is adorable, by the way…I think she will farrow on April 4th. I think she will have 9 piglets 🙂 Oh, how I miss having pigs.

    Sister Lori

  10. Andrew Mouradian
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I would say on 4/4/2011 and 8 pigglets. I know nothing about pigs but 4 + 4 = 8. Seems to make sense.

  11. Beth
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I think 9 pigglets on April 2nd. Its nice to “meet” a sow who is not agressive. No wonder she is one of your favorites.

  12. heather
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    i am guessing 10 piglets on april 3rd 🙂

  13. Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I say April 3 New Moon, and I predict 12 piglets.
    I miss haveing piggys as well..

  14. Lynne Sargent
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely old girl!:) I think Mina will have 7 babies on April 10th.

  15. Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    My guess is April 3rd and 7 piglets!

  16. Julie
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I say tomorrow morning 4/1 around 8am and she will have 7 little cuties!!!

  17. Connie Smith
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    8 piglets on April 1st; 9 pm CST.

  18. Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Hmmm…I’m guessing 10 pigglets between 5 am & 10 am on April 3rd. Hope I’m right 😉

  19. whit
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    April 3rd six piglets only because no one else guessed that yet.

  20. kbaxterpackwood
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Sometime late tonight or early in the morning, on the third, given the position of the moon and I’d say 8 piglets.

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