July 9, 2008

A Harrowing Farrowing

That's a piglet birth if you didn't know! (Sara is going to enter this picture in the fair! This is the little guy... "Wilbur")......While we were visiting our friends in OK for the 4th her daughter's 10month old Duroc Gilt(female who hasn't had babies yet) went to labor. and BOY was it labor! Pigs are supposed to farrow within 3-6 hours total with babies popping along every 10-15minutes but this took 12 hours and some assistance! Thankfully though Rosemary(mamma pig) seems to be fine and will live to nurse her babies and be bred again!

Here's Katie getting soaped up to exam Rosemary after it had been over an hour since the last piglet was born (We think she started the process around 5pm).Carrie and Katie make sure the new little one is breathing after Katie helped deliver it. Cleaning up the new babe (most books say this is unnecessary but we were taking the piggies from Mom straight off because she had already laid on one and this one needed a little help from a vigorous rub after being stuck. After Katie helped deliver the 4th baby (one still born, one wee one and one Mom laid on) she had two quickly - one 10min later and one 5 minutes later which was this little guy Sara and Jessica are rubbing while Tim stands by with the iodine to dip his umblical cord in. However....This little piggie had a HUGE p umblical cord! Katie's book told us they should be 4-6 inches and didn't need anything except dipping but this one was a good 18inches! At this point we decided to go ahead and tie off and clip the cords.An hour and a half later Katie had a go again and yep ANOTHER stuck piglet -- they just kept getting bigger! This one was born after two hours of pig rodeo, 6 people helping to confine her (they are planning on building a farrowing crate soon!)and a willing friend (Elizabeth) who knew a little bit more about pigs then us! And it was big compared to the others!Then it was more waiting..... Nursing the babies to stimulate oxytocin (Carrie is getting some to have on hand for the next time) Sara S wants to be a midwife and had gotten her doppler that day! We put it to good use determining whether the remaining piglet was alive! As Katie had felt it but Elizabeth couldn't. It was..... but ..... after three hours (12am) we gave up, went to bed and left the piglet and Rosemary in the Lord's hands.... She did survive and had the last piglet and afterbirth sometime between 5 & 7 am, that piglet unfortunately didn't survive but Rosemary seems to be fine and at last report is doing well (Carrie did administer antibiotics from all the trauma of people rummaging around in there and thanks to our pig expert friend Lisa Tokach!).

The five piglets in their makeshift bucket home.... with Sara M...and comparing the runt and the biggest one! ("Wilbur" was the first one alive and the big one is the one that took two hours and assistance to birth!) There's 3 inches of difference in length and the big ones ears are huge compared to the little guys! All in all it was a great experience (except maybe for Rosemary) and I'm sure we all know a lot more about farrowing and pigs now! It's always interesting at Carries! Although she tells me something exciting always happens when we're there..... either way!


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Nicolle Fletcher said...

It's great to see your whole family! Love ya

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