Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Aunt Agatha

In just a few days Aunt Agatha is due to farrow. After some military planning she was brought into the barn, and settled quickly to the deep straw, regular supplies of pea pods and frequent rubs. She shivers ecstatically under energetic fingers. When she lies down I can see the piglets move in her wonderfully large belly, and her rear teats are huge, the ones towards the front slowly filling with milk.
This evening I hung the heat lamp over the creep area and she came to investigate. She can't reach it, but she has sniffed and taken its scent into her memory bank. I turned it on to see how she would react, but after some minor curiosity she simply scratched her sides and arse against the creep bars and lay down once more. I've turned off the lamp, but I'm hoping that when the piglets come, she won't now be unnerved by the glowing red beacon.
The piglets probably don't need the heat lamp at this time of year but I want to make sure that they are attracted to the creep area and can retreat if they feel their mother flopping to the ground; inadvertent killing of small young piglets by huge ponderous mothers is not so much frequent as an expected part of every birth - no doubt that's why they can have so many in a litter.
I am all eager anticipation and nervousness, but for now we two commune, sharing oinks and snorts like a pair of biddies at bingo.

11 comments:

Scriptor Senex said...

I assume that Agatha was eventually named after the Wodehouse Aunt of that ilk. Hope she has a successful farrowing (Gosh, I'm learning the lingo - that's the nearest I'll ever get to farming).

Winchester whisperer said...

How exciting!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

All best wishes to Aunt Agatha!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

This reminds me very much of when my son was born. Preparations for my wife were almost identical but this was a litter of one and it was most unlikely that she would roll over onto the little lad and suffocate him as he was kept in a plastic aquarium next to the bed.

James Higham said...

How much does she weigh?

Mopsa said...

SS - yup, that was the decision! And so impressed tat you are getting your tongue round the jargon.

WW - it sure is

Welshcakes - thank you

YP - you are unkind! Surely the nurses didn't put your poor wife on a bed of straw in a barn? (Or is your real name Joseph?)

James - I'm not sure as she hasn't been in the weigh crate (she'd probably get stuck at the moment) but probably around 300lbs - over 20 stone.

Flowerpot said...

I love the idea of the pair of biddies at bingo!!

Around My Kitchen Table said...

How exciting! Good luck, Agatha. I hope everything goes well for you.

Eurodog said...

It's now sunday. Any news?

Mopsa said...

Patience, people, patience....

locksparkfarm said...

At last - a catch-up read of about a month' fab posts! Standing in the shop on a wet Thursday. I have a feeling Aunt Agatha might have 'moved'...am I right? Tonight we'll know!