Saturday, June 30, 2012

Washed Pigs

The rain washed most of the usual mud off the piggies, so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of them.  (We were soooo happy about the nice long rain we got last week, although at the end there it was getting a little boring).

Star and Black-ear have really grown tremendously.  I hadn't seen them in a little while, because they've been moved down the wooded pig line to a fresh paddock which is away from the main area.  Ethan's been feeding them, as it requires carrying a heavy bucket of soaked oats, barley, corn, peas and sour milk all the way up there.

Ethan was out of town last week, and I was feeding them, and as they made a very punctual appearance when they saw the bucket, and I got a few pictures.  They are huge.  It's hard to believe the tiny piglets we brought back last winter are the same big pigs.

The ugly piggies are looking better, too.  This has been a rough year for these pigs.  They were ugly, small and runty when we first got them, and after a few days we lost two of them (the first time we have ever lost a pig, other than from having them escape), from what we discovered was the porcine coricovirus, which the guy we bought them from called "travelling sickness."   It's something nearly all pigs have and isn't a problem unless they are stressed for some reason, like being moved to a new home.  About a week after all that, I realized when they came over to eat that they were crawling with lice, seemingly overnight.  Really, it's been kind of a nightmare with these pigs--we have never had problems with pigs before in the four years we've raised them.

We got some diatomacious earth as soon as possible, which I sprinkled generously around their pen and all over them daily for a couple of weeks.  When the lice seemed to have disappeared, we let them out into the larger paddock along the wooded pig-grazing line, and I haven't seen a single louse on them since.

Although it's been quite the rehabilitative struggle this year, they have filled out a lot since they've been here.  They look so much huskier and healthier than they did when they got here.  They still aren't very pretty, but at least they are looking sleeker and fatter.  The little ones were so skinny and runty when we first got them.  They love being in the big wooded paddock.  Like the pink piggies, we hardly see them except for when they expect their dinner.  Otherwise they are cooling off in their wallow or foraging.

The bad news is that one of the pigs--the brown one in the background--appears to be pregnant.  We only just noticed this last week.

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