Today was a great work day but an abnormally chaotic farm day. I get an excited call around 11 am that another mama pig is dropping babies. We ended up having another 5 babies! Then I get a call that one of the babies has the skin ripped from its shoulder from being stepped on. Then a call about a crushed baby. Then a call asking me to please come home to help. …and yes the horse dove in the pool too!
Man oh man…what a day.
More new babies! …found out in the field with all the big guys.
Jess relocated the babies to being under the shade cloth. Mama didn’t like this…but the babies sure did.
But oops one of them got really hurt!
Jess did the best should could for this little guy. Really his life wasn’t too hard as he was already in the house, being bottle fed, drugged up on pain killers, and being coddled by all the kids.
But this situation, piglets mixed in with monsters, has to be fixed!
Meet mama…a real dozer!
While at work I was thinking about what needed to be done when I get home to deal with a possible emergency. Basically I have some pigs that have had their babies, some pigs that are about to have their babies, and some dude pigs that just want to pork their porky ladies.
We have to add some infrastructure, finish some fencing, and split the pigs up to stop our babies from getting crushed/hurt.
I recalled that my buddy Evan McGee had some corrugated steel laying around his ranch. I needed roofing to build a second house for my second new mom. So I texted him to see if it was still available. He said yes…so the first stop once I got home was over at his ranch. Then I get a text message from the wife that Evan had a pile of stuff off to the side of his chicken house that he wanted to get rid of. He is selling his ranch and has a supply lot (similar to mine) that needed to be moved.
This meant that I would get some steel and possibly a couple of other odds and ends.
HOLY CRAP…he had a decent supply lot that need re-homing. We only took one load but might possibly consider doing another load. Rolls of field fence. a hand full of 2”x4”s. Steel. Barrels. A hand cart. Feed bins. Trash cans. It goes on and on. Jack pot! Evan has a free pass to every BBQ from now until the zombies attack!
We took it slow and easy on the way home. Evan’s ranch is only 5 miles away so we got home rather quickly even at a snails pace.
Once we got home we started to unload his supplies into our supply lot. While doing this I hear faintly in the distance a normal horse sound…”WHEEE HE HE HE HE…” S P L A S H ! ! ! …splash?
Then I see Trinity coming around the corner with a pouty face. I ask Trin what the problem is. She says that she has to go out to the barn to get a halter and rope. I ask why she would need that. She mumbled…”my horse went in the pool”. I ask “eh?”. “MY HORSE WENT IN THE POOL!!!”. Oh my!
Apparently Jesse (the kids horse) leaped in from the deep end. I run over to see him. He is swimming laps around the deep end of the pool. He seemed quite calm actually. But he didn’t know how to get out. I got his halter on and led him over to the steps. This part sucked though.
Since our pool pump had died a couple of weeks ago the pool turned green. Among other things green means slippery and slimy and dangerous to horse feet.
Once at the steps Jesse slowly figured it out. He fumbled a couple of times. But we made it out ok after taking a quick ear scratching break to catch our breath.
After a quick breath we tackled the stairs. He made it out. Then we hosed him down and checked out his legs. Just a ding here and there.
Back to emptying the truck.
In Evan’s pile of goodies was an old pig house in a disassembled form. That was awesome for us as we just put that back together! This saved us a boat load of time.
But while putting this house together we nearly lost another piglet. Apparently the boar is pretty eager to re-impregnate our first mama. But he chose to do this while in our first pig house. Two 500lb pigs in an 8’x8’ hut with a handful of piglets. Not a good equation.
So we shifted gears. Instead of finishing the house we moved over to installing the two gates on the second paddock to get it closed up. This went pretty quickly.
Once the paddock was sealed up we got a bucket of food and led the non-mothers over to the new field. They didn’t want to cross the barrier where there once was a hot wire fence. That took some coaxing! But they figured out that the gate was no longer there. The immediately realized that “hey…this is a new and unexplored field…FULL OF FOOD!”. We didn’t see them again for a while.
Back to the mothers.
We quickly finished the new pig house. Just had to put on a couple more roof tins. Then we turned our attention to the weeds in the house. The kids made quick work of getting those off the floor (so that we wouldn’t wake up to crushed babies).
With the house built and the non-mamas out of the field we took to getting the second batch of piglets into their new house. To do this we used another bucket of food to distract the mothers. We led the mothers around to the other side of the truck. While Jessica and I had the mothers attention the kids each picked up a baby and relocated it. The mothers got wise to this real quick.
The new mother decided to head back to the shade cloth where she left her babies. But the babies were gone. She started making a ton of chuffing noise. I picked up a baby to get it squeeling. But mama couldn’t hear it over the truck. Argh. Off the truck goes. Now mama hears the baby…but she figured they should be in the pile of dirt she churned up for them under the shade cloth. Taking the baby to just right in front of the mama eventually allowed me to lead mama to the new house. They are now safe and sound.
The task list isn’t done just yet! Now it’s time to turn our attention back to the second herd. They are in their new pasture and quite happy. So much new feed on the ground in their mind. And they had already started to dig a bed for the night. But I was worried about them once the sun popped up tomorrow. To solve this we had to put up a shade cloth and bring out some water.
A quick pounding of four t-posts got the foundation for the shade taken care of.
Then we had to stretch out the shade cloth. Next we tied the corners to the t-posts and we were done.
By this time it was already 9:50. We hadn’t had dinner yet so Jess and I rushed off to get some quick pizza for the monsters. They were almost closed but we made it just in time.
Then we popped over to HEB (the local grocery store chain) to see if we could find some round needles for stitches for our babies. We were quite the sight to see! Both Jess and I were covered from head to toe in sweat and dirt…yuck. But we live in a small town so no one noticed anything out of the ordinary!
Now it’s time to turn our attention to the hurt ones. Two pigs ended up getting hurt. They were stepped on by someone weighing around 500lbs with really sharp toe nails. And the new piglet’s skin tears very easily. Jess got the task of washing them out and drowning the wounds in H2O2. Then she added some band aids. If they make it too the morning I will give them a couple stitches and see how they do over the next few days.
I am told that this is quite normal. One pig had a flap of skin torn from its shoulder. The other pig had the same issue but it’s skin was torn from the hip forward (exposing guts). The shoulder wound pig is probably going to be good…piglets mend well. But I don’t have much hope for the gutted pig.
Oy…its already tomorrow! Time for bed.