Tuesday, July 17, 2012
the orphans, an update
I realized recently that I introduced my little orphan piglets but never mentioned them again. Good news: they made it, every single one. Not only did they survive the ordeal of losing their Mama Sow at just five days old, but they flourished. They learned in the first day of foster care to drink up every ounce of milk I dumped in their dish and then, after a few weeks, learned to gobble down the softened hog feed I soaked for hours and added to their milk. Gradually, I upped the feed and cut back on the milk. Woe is me! The spoiled little piggies would drink up their slowly diminishing ration and cry! cry! cry! A dish full of feed and nine crying babies, begging for more of the good stuff... With a bit of tough love and a great deal of piglet protest, they were weaned off the milk altogether. With a bit more tough love (and a general agreement amongst the human inhabitants of our house and yard - pigs poop, a lot) we decided to move the no-longer-so-small piglets out to the hog area, and there they live now, a little less like pets, a lot more like what they are - quickly growing hogs.
So, if anyone ever tells you it's impossible to raise orphaned piglets (I have been told this, more than once) you can tell them that's a big old load of hog shit. And remember to smile sweetly.