Friday 07 January 2022:
Around 2 PM, our sow Beans started nesting -a sure sign that she was starting to farrow.
We gave her some dry banana leaves as nesting material -which she started to spread around in her pen -a sure sign that she was starting to farrow.
She was alternating between eating and resting -in preparation for the great event. Around 5 PM, she seemed to settle down for the night. She usually farrows around 19 -12 at night.
Around 6 PM, Fatima went down and lit the candles -and it sounded like Beans was already in labour.
.Normally, our sows give birth naturally -without our assistance -although we do try to keep an eye on them in case of trouble. However, this time the efforts of recovering from the typhoon had also exhausted us. So we went to bed early and hoped for the best.
Saturday 08 January 2022:
Around 6 AM: Beans was nursing her piglets and got up to feed when Fatima went down to feed the animals. Beans seemed normal, and although there were several dead piglets visible, there were also many live ones running around. We did not try to count them yet. Mostly we left Beans undisturbed so she could nurse her piglets in peace and quiet. Although we did keep an eye open for her.
Around 11 AM, there was a crushing incident and Fatima managed to rescue a piglet which was squealing because it was being crushed by its mother. At that point we removed 3 dead piglets -and could see a fourth one which was difficult to recover at that moment -because she was lying on it. At that time we also counted 10m or 11 live piglets -but it was difficult to be sure because they were all running around their mother, looking for milk.
Beans was obviously very tired (as is normal) but otherwise ok.
Around the 3:30 PM feeding time we established that there were indeed 11 live piglets.
Sunday 09 January 2022:
Around 6 AM -at the morning feeding, Fatima discovered two more dead piglets. Beans seems determined to reduce the number of piglets. Unfortunately, due to the power cut we could not consult the documentation from previous farrowings: Literally and metaphorically, we were having to work in the dark.
At around 8 AM -another two piglets rescued from a crushing. Beans seems very reluctant to get up -despite the piglet's cries. There seemed top be only 6 piglets successfully nursing -and the rest were suffering.
Later, we may have to make some fundamental decisions about keeping and raising pigs. Around 11 AM -More squealing piglets. We give Beans a drink of water with vitamins in it. Fatima gives the piglets some egg and powdered milk.
Around 11:20 Fatima removed three piglets from their pen and put them on our balcony for safe keeping. Beans got up and moved to another nesting place. The piglets seemed lost and confused in the mud. Everything quietens down and Beans continues to rest. Normally we have an electric fan in the maternity pen -to cool the sow and prevent her from overheating. However, the continuing power cut after typhoon Rai means that we can't use the fan. The weather is also exceptionally hot and dry.
We put up on the balcony protective fences that we had made earlier for a previous fostering. Some neighbours heard the piglets squealing and came to order two piglets from us.
Around 1:00 PM we gave beans more vitamin water and some leafy vegetables. Fatima prepared some antibiotic. Around 2:00 Pm we gave Beans water with antibiotic in it. She was still extremely exhausted. By 3:45 feeding time, another 2 piglets were dead. We decided to remove them all -if possible.
We managed to get two piglets out -but Beans got upset.
Later, another one came near the gate and we were able to pick it up. After retrieving six piglets -we decided to leave the seventh with beans -we will try to retrieve it later.
Around 4:45, Beans seemed to be satisfactorily nursing the remaining piglet -so we decide to take a chance and leave then together. The other piglets already appeared to have learned how to drink powdered milk from a bowl. Around 5 PM we gave the piglets, now living on our balcony, dried banana leaves to make a nest.
(camera battery failure -no images)
We intended to feed the piglets every four hours with powdered milk, starting around :07 PM. It started well and it seemed that all the piglets could drink from a flat (saucer like) container.
However, at 11 PM, I got up to feed them. Only one piglet came to drink. I thought perhaps I was scaring them, so I left.
The other piglets then got up when I was no longer visible. So I assumed that they were drinking too.
By 12 Midnight, they were hungry again -so I went back to feed them.It was now clear than several were so distressed by the hunger that they had forgotten how to drink from the shallow bowl. Fatima said we should leave them to sort themselves out.
Shortly afterwards, I heard one piglet squealing loudly. I went to investigate: It was lying away from the others -which were all running around in search of food. This piglet was too weak to stand. I fed it by dipping my finger in the milk and allowing it to suck it. After a short while it was able to drink from the container (when both were held in a suitable position). However, it still could not stand. I gave it to Fatima who wrapped it in an old sheet because it seemed vary cold.
We changed the feeding schedule to every two and half hours.
Monday 10 January 2022:
At both the 2:30 and the 5:30 feedings, the situation was rather chaotic: Some piglets were fighting each other, rather than drinking. At 7:00 AM, Fatima got up, and together we were able to separate the drinkers from the non-drinkers -so Fatima could teach the non-drinkers (again) how to drink. We suspect they were just too hungry (and stressed) to remember the new rules.
While Fatima and i were busy with the five piglets, the weak (and possibly internally injured) piglet walked across the floor to join the others. Fatima had fed it earlier and now it appeared able to walk unaided from where we had laid it. The weak one was still too weak to join the others -so we put it in a box next to the fence we had put up on the balcony as a temporary pen for the others. In this way it was separated -but not isolated. It was a very courageous piglet!
After Fatima had fed the adult pigs, she came back and fed the piglets some more milk. Indeed, they were so excited, they kept forgetting how to drink. The weak one sometimes manages to walk -but otherwise "swims" over the floor.
Later Fatima said that Beans was now getting up and starting to eat normally. Her remaining piglet is still alive.
Around 9:30 AM, the piglets are fed again. It arrears to be much easier if each piglet has its own bowl to drink from. We now sticking to the revised feeding schedule: 9:30, 12, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, etc...
Around 11:30, Fatima had gone out shopping, so I had a look at Beans. She was certainly not active -and hadn't eaten or drunk anything recently. I gave her some water with antibiotic in it. Her piglet was still alive -but I wasn't sure if she was still nursing it. Beans was lying on her teats when I gave her water.
Around 2:30 PM, two black piglets wake up and start throwing up. We separate them from the bothers -which are less aggressive when eating At the sane time, the separated, weak, piglet was having severe difficulty with walking again. By 4:00 Pm she was deteriorating. We suspect internal injuries from being crushed (leading to problems defalcating and thus septicemia).
Around 3:30 PM, Beans is up eating and drinkli8ng a little. Around 5:00 PM, Beans seems to be recovering. She eats some banana leaves as well as lactation feeds and drinks water with antibiotic in it.
The sick piglet is just lying wrapped up in a cloth to keep it warm. Around 6:00 PM, the piglets are fed with foster milk and a special antibiotic (Aprolite). It seems that I may have over-fed them and they were getting diarrhea.
The weak piglet is still alive. But by the 11:00 PM feeding she is dead.
Tuesday 11 January 2022:
08:00 feeding time: The piglets seem to be responding well to the Aprolite and are recovering from the diarrhea.
The dead piglet is buried: In her short life she was a courageous and inspiring piglet, apparently understanding the simple meaning of life.
Jack-fruit and banana leaves fed to Beans and Pinkie. Beans is still not very active.
Fatima thinks the piglets are not putting on enough weight every day. She has increased the concentration of foster milk powder -but not the volume. Currently, they are fed every four hours.
01:00 PM -Beans is given more bananas and banana leaves.
The remaining piglet appears to be suckling still
By the 11:00 PM feeding, the brown piglets had to be separated because they were excessively "Belly Nosing" the others.
Around 12:30 PM, Fatima is woken up by a noise. Another piglet is ill. Its muscles are all extremely stiff. Fatima suspects Tetanus -but we have no idea how it might have happened. Why now -and why just that one piglet? Could some earlier "crushing events" also have been caused by Tetanus?
Wednesday 12 January 2022:
At the 8 AM feeding, we seem to have four healthy looking piglets with good appetites -so let's hope they will continue to thrive.
The sick piglet is still alive but has a fever and is as stiff as a board. Fatima has given it a sponge bath to cool it down -and has tried to feed it through locked jaws..
Beans is improving -her piglet seems OK too. But a difficult night for us. Around 10:00 Am, Beans gets room-service:
The rescued piglet's feeding schedule is modified such that small portions of food are given every two and half to three hours. This seems to work better. The sick piglet is still alive..
Around 1:00 PM, Beans gets up to eat and drink. Gave her lots of greens to eat -to give her as much energy as possible. After a while, she stopped eating and went back to her piglet..
Lots of Belly nosing still going on with the rescued piglets. This is probably because they were so young when taken from their mother. The toys don't seem to interest them too much. Fatima let the piglets run around the house (to distract them). They soon got tired and ran back home when they heard Fatima preparing milk. After feeding they slept quietly.
As the afternoon progresses, Beans gets more active and is getting up more often to eat. She has eaten more bananas and other green-stuff.
By 5:00 PM it seems the sick piglet has finally died.
Fatima has enlarged the piglet area on the balcony. They can also come into the house during the day -but they are shut out on the balcony at night. Hopefully, they are less bored now. By the 06:30 Pm feeding time they seem much quieter. The extra space does seem to have reduced the boredom -which is probably the main cause of excessive belly nosing.
Thursday 13 January 2022
(Camera Battery failure - No Images)
One of the piglets has a small wound after being bitten.
-End of First Week;
Friday 14 January 2022
At the 4:00 PM feeding time, Beans seems not at all well -possibly because of dehydration and heat stress.We have given her extra water (in her pen) with vitamins and a hydration agent.
It now seems essential to remove her remaining piglet. Already, it appears to be trying to eat food spilled by its mother -and to drink water fallen on banana leaves left by Beans. So, teaching it to feed itself should be easy. We shall just have to risk any social problems when it is united with its siblings -and take appropriate action when necessary.
We gave Beans more food mixed with water on a banana leaf and took the piglet while she was busy eating. The piglet made no noise when we picked it up (which is very unusual) and mother didn't seem to care at all either (which is also very unusual).
For a short while we kept it separate from the others. However, it was too nervous to eat or drink. So Fatima let the others loose and (luckily) they all had a friendly reunion. Hopefully, the siblings will soon teach it to drink from a bowl.
Saturday 15 January 2022
Beans is still unwell. Not really eating -but will drink a little if water is brought to her.
The rescued piglets seem to be accepting their new life.
Sunday 16 January 2022
Beans is recovering slowly from the exhaustion and stress of her farrowing. But she is still very tired.
Around 03:15 PM, antibiotic given to piglet with diarrhea and to another piglet that has a lump on its head.
By the 03:30 pig feeding time, Beans was eating and drinking from the trough. A good sign.
Monday 17 January 2022
The new piglet has diarrhea. The piglet with the lump on its head has constipation. The others seem ok. So Fatima suggests stopping the Aprolite and giving them antibiotic. Separating the new piglet from its siblings might also give it more rest and a better chance when feeding.
We seem to be running into drought conditions -made worse by the continuing problems with the water supply. We are running short of water -and both the plants and the pigs seem to be suffering from the heat.
-End of Second Week;