It's spring on the farm and we've got babies poppin' out everywhere. Today Bianca farrowed her litter of piglets. Of course, she chose a day where the high temp has been 50 degrees and it's been pouring rain. She looked ready yesterday, so I figured today or tomorrow would be the day. I've been bringing the gilts (female pigs that have not yet farrowed) a bale of hay everyday so they could build their nests and stay dry in all this rain and unseasonably cold weather. They eat a lot of the hay, so it's important to keep them well-stocked.
Around 9:30am I went out to feed everyone. Rain gear in full effect, hood covering everything except my nose and eyes. I lumbered up to their paddock in the forest, Bianca and Petunia running around like usual, grunting voraciously as they awaited their whey, eggs and hog feed bonanza. Bianca looked about the same as the day before. Her belly hung a little lower, but really how much lower could it get? Her teats almost touched the ground.
Bianca the day before farrowing
I emptied the rain water out of the feed dishes and Petunia nibbled on my jacket sleeve. Hog feed first, then the whey, then the eggs. I think that's the best sequence. I glanced up at their A-frame to be sure it looked dry and full of hay and what...? Three piglets! Oh sh*t! It's pouring rain, nearly freezing with the wind chill, and here's three baby piglets. Bianca is out eating, the piglets are running around and appear to be a little cold. One is clearly fresh out of the womb, still covered in after-birth. Bianca wants nothing to do with them, she's entirely focused on eating, which will take about 30 minutes.