I’m Sow Relieved

helga with piglets

It’s been a busy 2 weeks since I last posted. We went to a wedding in Santa Cruz and had a mini vacation there. It was very nice for my husband to be able to sit and do nothing! My good friend Shanna took care of my home animals for me, this is all the poultry, rabbits, dog and cat. It’s very relaxing knowing that you can leave and have a good time and someone who knows animals has everything under control for you.

At the tail end of our vacation Zoey, my eldest, got sick. Threw up all over her plate at the Santa Cruz Diner. AMAZING waffles there btw I highly recommend them. She was sick on and off for over a week. We actually ended up taking her to the hospital the following Friday. She just kept throwing up and complaining of stomach pain as well as refusing to eat or drink. It wasn’t until the following Thursday that we had a confirmed diagnosis of mesenteric lymphadenitis. The solution for which is rest and ibuprofen/tylenol. That was just one long, scary, tiring week. I don’t even know why I was so tired I stayed on the couch for three straight days watching tv and cuddling the Zo-bug. She is all better now praise the Lord up and bouncing around and making up for lost time in the eating department.

Last week I had another hatch of ducklings and two litters of piglets born totaling 17! We have been waiting it feels like forever for those little buggers! Zach was out there right after they were born. He could tell right away that one of them wasn’t going to make it. My Hampshire/Hereford sow, I call her Helga Hufflepuff so that I can remember that, had 12 and the super runt didn’t make it to the morning.

I don’t know if all sows do this but my sows often have 2 or 3 huge piglets and then 6ish medium sized and then 2 or 3 runts. Occasionally we get a super runt who is about half the size of his medium class siblings. They rarely survive more than a day or so the few that have have developed hernias which will rupture at some point so they have no value in terms of selling. I haven’t had any survive to adult size. Runts aren’t great for use as breeders because they pass their runtiness along. Runts produce more runts which isn’t helpful. It also takes them a couple months to catch up to their siblings in size IF they can get enough food. However the 16 left are several days old now and doing very well which is good cause we are going to need to sell them to buy hay for this summer.

We had ranch visitors yesterday, my old high school friend Caleb and his girlfriend Brittney! I am convinced she is plotting to move out to my ranch and just love all my animals for the rest of her life. I caught up a piglet for her to play with, it was not pleased to be away from mom but she and Caleb had a good time cuddling it and taking pictures. They were also interested in the alpacas, those creatures get way too much attention. I believe they originally came out to ride my two horses Derby and Sage. However my two ingrates as well as my in-laws horses Cherokee and Remington took off as soon as we showed up. Turns out they had been getting into the pig food and correctly assumed they would be in trouble.

ranch horses

The above picture is Sage on the far left with Derby next to her and walking away, he is the leader of the herd. Closest to the camera is my in-laws gelding Cherokee who they are currently working on breaking him to ride. Behind him and almost out of sight is the little colt Remington.


That’s all for this week!


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