Lots of baby news on the farm this week. The first sow had her littler last night. We went to check her just before supper, Miranda in the backpack, Mark on the crutches, Jane trotting alongside. The pig was up, grunting, looking fine, and her feed and water looked good, but just as I turned to leave I saw a tiny wet something in the straw. It was struggling to get out of the pig-shaped caldera that the sow had made for a nest. The piglet kept slipping down the sides of it, into the zone where its fridge-sized mama was about to lie down. It looked destined to be one flat little piglet.
There ensued a several-person mad scramble to move most of the bedding out of the stall to give the newborns some advantage, during which the sow’s labor seemed to stop, and who could blame her? We left her with her one baby and a heat lamp, and when I checked her at bedtime, and she had produced one more live piglet, and a stillborn. At midnight, there was a small squealing heap, clustered together on the floor in front of her generous udder. By morning, a nice litter of nine.
On Wednesday morning, Eric Sherman knocked on the door, carrying what I took at first glace to be a skunk. Why is he bringing a skunk into my house? I thought as I invited him in. It wasn’t a skunk, of course, but a three day old black-and-white orphaned lamb…” (Continue reading Kristin Kimball’s Essex Farm Note)