It’s getting piggy in here

This Saturday we are having a free pig holding/petting event. What is a free pig holding event you ask? I’m glad you did, because I asked SWMBO the same thing.

It seems at our open barn day event that there were two never ending lines. One to get into the store, and one to hold a piglet with Grandma.

Grandma and the baby piglet. There was a steady line all day to see and hold the piglet.
Grandma and the baby piglet. There was a steady line all day to see and hold the piglet.

As an aside, those same little piglets are actually grown up now and leaving the farm Friday to go to go to a new farm.

Piglets in the barn ready to be sold
Piglets, ready to go to another farm

But good news, we have lots of new little piglets on the ground born two weeks ago.

Our best momma with her new piglets
Our best momma with her new piglets

And just this past Sunday.

Large black mom with piglets
Large black mom with piglets

And in our batch of piglets from two weeks ago, we actually have two runts. So of course my girls (SWMBO, The Princess, and Wildflower) got involved in that.

One of our runts, napping with the Princess after getting a belly full of food
One of our runts, napping with the Princess after getting a belly full of food

The way it works with runts is that they cannot get access to food (momma’s milk) because their brothers and sisters are pushing them away getting their own food. Because they don’t eat, they don’t grow while everyone else does. Because they don’t grow, they get pushed more and more away until eventually they die. We pulled one real runt, and one that was on the way to being the runt into the house this past Sunday and have been giving them TLC ever since.

SWMBO and Tammy feeding the runt piglets
SWMBO and Tammy feeding the runt piglets

First thing in the morning the piglets get fed which involves a syringe and a bowl, baby food, pet milk, and a mess. There is much screaming from the piglets while they are carried from inside the house to the planter outside by our house. Once they hit the ground all is forgiven and it’s feeding time. The all black piglet got the hang of things very quickly and is eating right out of the bowl now. The striped piglet is the one that was weaker and we are still having to feed her from a syringe, often holding her and getting forcing her to eat.

It’s been touch and go with the striped one for a few days but as of yesterday she seems to be finally gaining body condition and eating consistently and with very little coaxing.

Once the piglets have round bellies, we let them play in the planter for a few minutes, then they are swaddled into a huge towel, cleaned up, and held like a baby till they fall asleep. Then it’s back into the cage under a heat lamp till the next feeding.

Then it’s wash, rinse, repeat every two hours or so until about 8-9pm.

SWMBO washing a baby piglet
SWMBO washing a baby piglet

Although sometimes you have to get a bath. I know you can’t hear from this picture, but imagine a never ending series of screams from the piglets as he complains MIGHTILY about having to take a bath. Much like children, being clean isn’t high on a pigs to do list. SWMBO is laughing and talking to him through the whole process.

So back to this pig holding thing I promised in the beginning. This Saturday, our two runt piglets are going to be made available much like we did during barn day. Grandma, AKA The Pig Whisperer, is going to be here and folks can stop by and pet/hold the piglet (depending on the piglet’s mood). It’s just a chance to get closer to a piglet than you ever would otherwise. Nothing special, but something special indeed. Unlike Barn Day, we are not advertising this event. No Facebook posts, no fliers. We are trying to keep this event relatively small and manageable so that everyone gets a chance. Yes you are welcome. Yes you can bring your friend/neighbor/etc. We just aren’t advertising it. This one is pretty much word of mouth.

Of course, the store will be open, and we’ll be running our normal tours as well so if you want to stop by, see the piggy, go shopping (how we actually make a living) and even take a tour (starts on the hour, group walking tours for $20 per group), all that will be going on this Saturday. The baby pig part of this thing will be from 10am – 2pm. Everything else is running our normal hours of 8-5.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

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