Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The magnificent eight

Listening to: Banana Pancakes (Jack Johnson)
Weather: the glorious run continues
Surf: flat and the water's a bit chilly yet
Pigwatch: read on

It's not often I feel like hugging a 400lb pig, but I do now.

The waiting is over, we have piglets. I suspected Kim was close this morning. Her teats were like little grapefruits, she had gathered all the straw in her pen into one nest and was a bit off her food.

I carried on as normal, not wanting to get my hopes up and, as I usually do, stopped what I was doing to watch The Simpsons. After TV, sausage and mash, I checked the pig shed, the plan being that myself, stepson and father-in-law would wander down to the hotel for a pint or three.

First I noticed blood near Kim's rear end. 'It's started', I thought. Then I spotted a very small pig's backside. . . and then six more. 'It's finished', I re-thought.

Indeed it had. Seven piglets were getting stuck into Kim's 14 teats (and still managing to have arguments) and I found an eighth stuck in the straw in the creep. I quickly wiped him down, shoved some of the excess straw out of the creep and pushed him the general direction of the milk bar.

He didn't do much apart from shiver and I noticed he still had the cord attached. I snipped that off, popped a little antiseptic spray on and guided him towards a nipple. He still seemed unsure what to do so - so I realised I was going to have to show him.

No, I didn't get down and have a good suck, I put the nipple in his mouth, drew off a little milk and we had a Eureka moment. Matey-boy is now suckling with the best of them.

I should point out that Kim was an absolute star. She popped the piglets out in just over an hour, lay down next to the creep so the piglets could enjoy the benefit of the heat lamp while they suckled. I couldn't have wished for it to go more smoothly.

I've dived inside to write this and have a cup of tea, but I'm going to be in and out of the shed all night, just to make sure. More details and pics tomorrow no doubt.


Richard said...

Piglets! And you ate sausages before hand. How apposite. Does that mean you're still a trainee or have you still stuff to do?

Brad said...

That's great news it all went so smoothly. Their pretty dang cute.

Congrats Mr. Pig Farmer.

Ginni Dee said...

No more trainee! I think you've earned your place among real honest-to-goodness pig farmers! Wooohoo, Malc I couldn't be more excited. What date were they born? I'm curious because May 7th is my son's b'day. So maybe Kim and I should compare notes!

I'm very happy for you. Now Molly will follow suit, I'm sure!

P.S. Don't forget your camera...we want more pix!!

Donn said...

A real Kodak Moment.
Thank goodness you know so much about teats.

They're so adorable..i bet that they'll all be sleeping in your bed by tomorrow.

susi said...

Congratulations. Hope the other one goes as smoothly.

Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd said...

They are so adorable -- I want one! :)

Da iawn!

patroclus said...

Ohhhh, how brilliant - well done!

Z said...

Congratulations to Kim! And champagne for you to wet the babies' heads/

Malc said...


I think I'll always be a trainee. There's so much still to learn.


Cute is the word - shouldn't be allowed for farm animals.


Yes, May 7 it was. Molly's not far off. Pix to follow.


I've had plenty of practice. They seem quite happy in their own bed. I can't provide milk.


Thanks - and I hope so too.


Swop two Saddlebacks for a couple of Balwens. Diolch yn fawr iawn.


Brilliant? Too right. Thanks.


I settled for a pint of Orkney Red McGregor sent up from the Cleaton House Hotel.

patchwork ali said...

At last! Have been on tenterhooks all week - congratulations! Have you thought of any names yet?

ziggi said...

Obviously she didn't know the day!


so lovely, enough to turn one vegetarian!

ziggi said...

when is the naming?

nuttycow said...

I know I'm a bit late but how "cute" are those pigs?!

I have an affinity with farmyard animals y'see ;)

The Birdwatcher said...

Congratualtions Mr Pig Farmer.

Virgin Porker said...

Congratulations Malc! They're adorable! I knew it would be ok - I'll bet you're chuffed to bits.

And they look so much like their father ;o)

Lots of love to you & your brood. x x x

I, still, ♥ the views said...


just like my childhood farmset!!

congratulations one and all

Minerva said...

Congratulations to the proud mother and to you, however you think of yourself - midhusband? Look forward to seeing more pictures.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Congratulations ....lovely litter!
Love that photo.
We are down to 2 mothers to be now ...we might just get there so don't wave that flag just yet!

mig bardsley said...

Oh wonderful! Congratulations to you all!

Hayden said...

wow, they really are a handsome breed. Sounds like they are good mothers, too. Guess I'll have to read further to learn if you have them on pasture?