Yesterday in my post on ‘autumn is the new spring’ I promised to follow up with more about our newborn October piglets, I’m staying true to my word so I hope you’ll grab a cuppa and enjoy the photos.
In previous years Sally, our breeding sow, has given birth to piglets at the beginning of September. This has worked well providing babies on the farm in early autumn for our holiday guests just as many of the spring born farm animals are growing towards adulthood. Typically September weather remains warm for the new born piglets making it a perfect time. However nature doesn’t always oblige.
Piglet uncertainty as Pasty goes off the boil
Pasty has been Sally’s Moorland boyfriend for the past 2 years. We drive Sally up to stay with Pasty in early spring and wait for the OK to bring her home. This year we received a rather different phone call, Pasty had fallen out of love with our ‘luscious Sal’, and a new boar was being sought. Now we had to wait for Mr Substitute to build up his love for Sally and for Sally to come back into season. We were reassured from a second phone call that all was well and that we could collect Sally. The only real question was over Sally’s new birth dates. We faced a long summer with fingers crossed that Mr Substitute was up to the job and that Sally was indeed in the family way. By September the signs were there and we watched her tummy swell with each passing week.
I took this photo the day before she gave birth, she was really struggling to move around with her heavy belly.
Finally last week we woke to find ten healthy piglets born overnight. This was the highlight of the morning tractor ride with everyone crowding round for a look. It must have been a long night for Sally as she looks quite exhausted here. She is a great mother but eventually she tires of the demands to feed from her piglets and rolls over to sit on her nipples for a rest.
The piglets feed constantly in the first week and are very demanding clambering over one another to reach a teat as soon as Sally makes them available.
While Sally enjoys her morning breakfast she allows Farmer Nick to bring one of her piglets out at a time for us to admire.
The children are fascinated yet a little afraid as they are inclined to “squeal like a pig”. I suspect when our older half term children arrive they will be queuing up to see if Farmer Nick will let them hold one by themselves.
Piglets are a great time waster and have the most adorable little faces so full of expression. This little one had momentarily lost Mummy and her siblings, her concern is written all over her face.
We are grateful for the lovely warm sunny October days for their first week. Already they are putting on weight and growing before our eyes so I am confident when winter arrives they will be strong enough to cope, despite their late arrival. In just a week they have more than doubled in size. Poor Sally on the other hand is loosing weight despite us feeding her extra, but that’s just a natural hazard of good parenting.
We are open all year with some great out of season prices if you fancy an autumn getaway and piglets to cuddle.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.