Pinkie and Brownie November 10 2018
6.30 AM: Normal Feeding time. Fatima damps down the area around the farrowing pen to keep it cool
2.30 PM: Fatima notices nesting behavior and gives more dried banana leaves for her to build a nest with
2.45 PM: Fatima again waters the area surrounding the pig pen -to cool it down. The electric fan is switched on.
4.00 PM: Normal feeding. Brownie is hungry as usual.
5.00 PM: The fan is switched off and Brownie rests
9.00 PM: Brownie makes occasional soft grunting sounds. Is probably giving birth -but too dark and distant to see.
9.20 PM: Several squeals and grunts are heard
11.00 PM: We hear more squeals -probably from fighting piglets
6.30 AM: Brownie is hungry as usual. Several piglets are running around the pen
-it's impossible to to count them as some may be hidden in the nesting material.
7.30 AM: Normal suckling routine seems established.
9.40 AM: Fatima counts at least 10 live piglets and two dead ones
-which we did not retrieve as we did not wish to disturb Brownie
9.45 AM: Brownie is very tired and Fatima switches on the fan -at its lowest setting.
1.00 PM: Everything seems quiet and normal. Mother and litter seem content and comfortable
4.00 PM: Fatima counted 12 live piglets -and we recovered and buried 4 dead ones (cause and time of death unknown)
6.30 AM: Brownie seems quite happy this morning. Eating and drinking normally.
It is difficult to see the piglets amongst the nesting material.
Buried another newly dead piglet -and Fatima thinks there is still another dead one in the pen.
We are thinking of cutting the piglets teeth -just to prevent trouble later.
The fan seems to help in keeping the pen cool. No sign of fever -after Fatima gave antibiotic in water while nest building.
3.00 PM: A piglet got suffocated while suckling on a hind teat. It took s few minutes to get food and persuade the sow to stand up. Finally we were able to get her up and collect the piglet from between her feet. It was unconscious -but revived quickly when shaken and slapped.
We decided its chances of survival in the pen were minimal -so have taken it out, fed it and put it in a box as a temporary home.
3.30 PM: Auntie Brownie seems to be quite fit, but still gets angry sometimes when suckling. Fatima decided that it might be good if we cut the piglet's teeth to avoid them harming and upsetting the mother when suckling.
The animal technician arrived -and we decided to try and let Brownie out of her pen, distracting her with a bath and food, while the technician put the piglets in a box and cut their (milk) teeth. Fatima had also spotted another potentially weak piglet and wanted to take it out for special care. We intended to keep it in the box after teeth cutting -so we could give it special treatment later.
Unfortunately, Brownie refused to be distracted. She could hear the revived piglet in the house -and tried to go to it. Then she heard the squeals of the others as the technician put them in the box for treatment.
Brownie, ran around the garden desperately looking for a way into the pen. She also tried to jump in over the fence. Luckily, the technician was finished and we could let her return to the pen before she could do any real damage to people or property.
At the last moment, Fatima could not remember which was the other weak piglet and so all of them were returned to the mother -who quickly calmed down as soon as she saw they were unharmed.
By this time -it was already afternoon feeding time for the animals.
6:30 AM: Another dead piglet in the pen.
Otherwise, all seems normal.
Brownie seems to have learned to look at the fan when she wants it switched on....
The rescued piglet has learned to drink foster milk from a bowl.
Fatima decides another piglet needs removing from the pen. It is very thin and will have to learn to drink from a bowl too.
Everything seems normal. Some piglets have discovered the creep space -and the exit... but fairly tentatively, at least for now.
The "rescued" piglets seem happy -the emaciated one is looking better already. They have both learned very quickly to drink from a bowl. They are fed about every two hours during the day and about every three hours at night.
Everything still seems normal again today.
Some Piglets have started exploring the garden outside the pen
Fatima and our helper have built a temporary pen on the balcony to house the two hand raised piglets.
Another normal day.....
One week old tonight!
Piglet Mortality Log