Yesterday was National Pig Day! And in the spirit of that day, I am going to tell you more about Wyatt’s pig, Rose. I introduced her to you in my post “The Boys are Away……….The Girls do Chores”. Now you will get the more of the story, so we will start at the beginning.
Once Upon A Time……………just kidding!
Rose came to the County Link farm almost a year ago. She was one of two pigs that Wyatt bought from our good friends at Penn Farms Show Pigs to raise and show at the county fair. Last year was his first year in 4-H and he wanted to take swine as one of his projects. *Now keep in mind, I showed pigs and Gpa raises pigs, so this was not something we were unfamiliar with.
From the beginning Rose was to be shown as a breeding gilt, (she was judged on her qualities of being a future mama). Once you label something as a “future” mama in this house, then you had better be willing to keep said animal and make sure that she does indeed become a mama. It was not going to be okay to try to “eat” Rose, so we did what any good parents would do, we kept her and got her bread. *Again, we were at an advantage in that Gpa has pens, barns and other gilts to put Rose with.
So Rose ran with the other gilts (female pigs who have yet to have babies) and was visited by the boar (daddy pig). We had hopes that she would have her first litter of piglets in middle to late January, but because of some trouble with the daddy pig (boar), her due date was changed to late February.
A week ago Gpa was able to move her into the farrowing house so that she would be nice and warm and dry for when it came time to farrow (give birth) and that day has come! Thursday night Rose gave birth to five big baby pigs. I added the big part, because they were big for a gilt. She may have had one or two more if they had not been so large. I am happy to say that Wyatt was there for most of it and even helped! He did however have to stay up until 1:30 in the morning, but we are still covered in snow, so school was cancelled again today.
Rose did have a bit of trouble. Two of the babies were in the birth canal for two long and died. It is something that tends to happen, especially with gilt’s, but because Wyatt and Gpa checked on her in the middle of the night, they were able to help and the rest were born just fine. He now has three little girl piglets!
As you can see Rose is a Duroc, red, but her babies are white. The boar (daddy pig) was a Yorkshire, white, so we had the chances of getting white, red or light red colored pigs. *I really like getting in the words daddy pig, can’t you tell. If you remember back to your days in Biology, then you will remember dominate and recessive genes. White happens to be a dominate gene, thus the all white pigs
In all this has been a great experience for Wyatt. It has taught him responsibility, compassion, how to work hard and dedication. Things that are not always easy to teach a child unless they have experiences like this. We are all very sad that Rose lost two of her babies, but we thank god that she is fine and that she will be able to raise these three and many more in the future.
What the future holds for these little pigs is still not know. Wyatt may be able to show one at the fair or he may sell them. We will see. One thing is for sure, Rose will live out her days as a sow (gilt who has had babies) and get to have many more litters of pigs.
Be sure and check back on the progress of these little girls and their mama. I foresee more posts about pigs, kids, 4-H and showing.
Blessings to you and our new mama sow, Rose,
Laurie – Country Link