Thursday, 6 August 2009

Nature's other miracle

The piglet shoved his brother out of the way, latched onto the teat and began sucking greedily. I relaxed, happy to hear the slurping sound of a young pig getting his first milk.

Once again we are celebrating nature's miracle. No, not Wolves' promotion to the Premier League*, but the arrival of the Kim's litter of seven piglets.

Ten minutes earlier the same piglet had been upside down while I swung him from side to side in an attempt to clear his lungs of the mucus that had damn nearly drowned him. He wheezed a bit, spluttered, coughed and then. . . not much.

I shoved a finger down his throat, explained the 'no dying without written permission from the pig "farmer"' rule and hauled out a great glob of goo. His nibs gave a great big "ahehehem" and looked altogether brighter. I snipped his cord and pushed him in the general direction of the milk bar.

Two o'clock in the morning is hardly the best timing, but it's a relief to have the birth out of the way, not least for Kim who has had a rough time of it. She's a well-built girl, if well-built means 'along the lines of HMS Ark Royal' and the added weight of pregnancy has made life very difficult over the last couple of weeks.

Mercifully, that bit's over, the seven seem healthy enough and, for Kim, eight weeks of motherhood follows. For me, it's time for boiled egg and soldiers and a few hours sleep.

* The real miracle will be if they stop up.


Dave said...


Jimmy Bastard said...

Another great post.

smart said...

Congratulations! Will you be having a glass of something with your egg and soldiers?

Richard said...


Sarah said...

There is something really warming about rearing your own animals...I've only managed it with chickens and ducks, even so, it's very exciting probably a little more exciting than rearing one's own litter!

elizabethm said...

Hey you are a real farmer, you remove gobs of goo, you save lives! Glad it all went well.