Tag Archives: arrival

The least eventful arrival of piglets event, ever.

It was kind of a long car ride, but they were almost worryingly quiet, and hardly stinky either.We’re home!  Yeah, yeah.  Not excited. I wheelbarrowed their kennel over to the new home, and they rode that journey like champs, sitting up, their sniffers working overtime.  Just as fast as they could, smelling everything about the new environment.  The wet, sprouting field, the damp forest.  Me.  SNIFFSNIFFSNIFFSNIFFSNIFF!

Once in position, I left them for almost an hour to sleep off the nerves and motion sickness of the trip, to get used to the new surrounding smells and sounds, and for me to do decontamination after being out in The World.  I opened the door.  They looked at me,  turned around, and … laid back down.A half hour later: She’s out! Oh, here he comes! They’re so little!  The smaller female pig especially, seems so small.   Yet, it’s already clear she’s the leader in all things.

They’re just babies!  Shaky, stumbley.

They were so into rooting that they barely stepped out of the box and got completely preoccupied with it. OMG, dirt!  This is what my nose is made for!  They spent most of the next hour right here in front of the house.  There was no need for a fence at all.

Right away I realized they were too small to use the water trough I built and I had to give them a saucer, and put their food and water right next to them.

They could hardly eat out of the tub without standing their front legs in it.  The girl pig gave pushing over the food tub a good shot, and couldn’t! They were also really into all the branches, gnawing and sucking, some pleased pushing, and some preliminary tugging.

I was concerned they weren’t capable of getting into their house because of the 1×6 along the bottom and considered that I’d have to take it off.  They’d stand their front legs on it and look in longingly at the hay, then give up.  They pushed and pushed on the kennel, apparently wanting to go to bed in it, but I had shut the door, to encourage them to sleep in their house.

They got more and more invested in gnawing, pushing, and rooting, grunting happily, still without exploring past their doorstep, until finally, after the chickens were in bed, both of them just leaped over the 1×6 like it was nothing and burrowed into the hay.

This morning they were out early for a bite to eat, then promptly went back to sleep for hours.  I get it.

Apparently, we’re pig farmers now

We got piglets again.  They look just like the last ones.

Spots and A.P. are now pork and delivered to customers.  We went out on a limb a little bit getting these piglets before having customers arranged to buy the meat, but we had the chance to get Black Berkshires again, which went so well the last time, and we just like having pigs.

These little girls have 1/4 Tamworth in them, but you wouldn’t know.  Enormous ears, black with white patches, one bigger and bolder than the other. It’s Spots and A.P. all over again, except for the great escape on arrival.  We did better with that.

They were jammed in a dog crate together – too small for them but better than separating them.  They seemed pretty relaxed in the crate, but they had a fair drive to get here.  I think transport day must be the worst day of their lives.  Hot, cramped, apprehensive, and unfamiliar.

Instead of carrying them across our land to Pigland, HW wheeled the crate over in the wheelbarrow, and set it down inside the electric fence.

I opened the door, and they froze, deciding they were very shy. 

One pig is possibly twice the size of the other, although they are the same litter.  They have lovely eyes, like dog eyes.

They stuck just their noses out into the grass, sniffing around a bit without leaving the crate.  This may be their first contact with the outdoors.

We left them to come out on their own time, and I came back to check on them in half an hour.  They were in the exact same place.  Snouts outside resting in the grass, settled down and fast asleep.  We need a nap after that last experience.  No new experiences yet, thank you very much!By dusk they had come out and were hiding in their woods, but came out for a late snack.

Guinea Chicks!

I’m so excited!  I’ve got a shipment of little guinea chicks!20160828_112142

They were in a Pepsi box when I picked them up – a loud box, objecting to being moved around.  They settled down on my lap for the ride home, and then I carried them gently to the hen yard.

The guineas are going to get the chickery for the time being.  The former residents got bumped up to Silkieland the night before – their final promotion.  I also moved Silkieland, so that everyone in there would have maximum entertainment on the chicks’ first day. 20160828_112229Inside the box.  Seven little striped brown heads – they look nothing like they will when they grow up.20160828_112322I tore open the box and placed it in the chickery to let them come out on their own time.20160828_112516A half hour later.

There they are, all settled down.


Another half hour later.

They are approximately one centimeter nearer to the door of their box.

Their own time is never fast enough for me.  I tore the lid further open (alarmed cheeping!) and left them alone again20160828_121606An hour later.

All of them hiding behind the box!

And then, a bit later, busy foraging like normal chicks:


Adorable.  They have these wide orange beaks, like tiny puffins, except they look mostly like striped chicken chicks.

They happily darted about being chicks all day, and at night we went to box them up and move them into the greenhouse.  This is what we found:20160828_143502

They were all tucked up, nearly invisible, as concealed as they could manage in the short grass.  So clever, already.

I’m going to attempt an adoption.  It’s a bit of a stretch, but these are little African birds that just came out from under a lamp, so they are going to be cold without a heat source.

I took a hen out of the Silkie coop that just went broody, and I’m going to swap out her eggs tonight for a bunch of guineas.

Surprise!  Your eggs hatched super fast!  And the chicks are unusually large. 

The Adoption failed.  I tucked the guineas under the broody hen in the night and slipped out the eggs and no one was very perturbed.

In the morning though, the hen utterly refused to mother them, and completely ignored them when I put them all in the chickery.

She was NOT fooled.

In fact, she was clearly pining, staring through the bars of the cage. To underline her disconsolation, while I was watching her she lifted a leg and wistfully rested her foot on the mesh wall like a hand, in appeal.

I couldn’t resist, I promptly put her back in a box with a set of eggs.