Here's how we spent our Independence Day: monitoring and helping our sow Suey with her first litter!
One little piglet needed assistance, and two others needed help breaking free of the sac, but Suey did just fine. The babies eventually figured out the whole business of nursing, and how to nap while a half-dozen siblings clambered on top. The runt of the litter is a little scrapper, and since he survived his first night, there is a good chance he will make it. Time will tell.
After spending the entire afternoon in the piggery, from 12:30 to 7:00pm, we at last turned in, filthy and exhausted, but feeling quite pleased with a healthy litter of ten.
But Suey had a surprise for us... two, in fact...
When Mike got up to check during the night, there was an 'extra' piglet... he counted several times just to be sure. And later, on his second check, yet another!! I guess this isn't all that unusual for the pig birthing process, but it sure caught us off-guard. This brings the total piglet count to 12!
Edited to add: We were just told by our U-H Ag Extension agent that this is the very first CGNF-raised litter of pigs in the entire USA!! There are other piggeries using the Natural Farm method, based on master Cho's teachings, but they aren't doing the breeding aspect of pig-raising. I hadn't realized quite how cutting edge we were!! ;-)