Farmstead Farrowing with Lulu the Pig

 Farmstead Farrowing With LuLu the Pig

 

            It was a conversation my dad and I had in the weeks leading up to fair. "Wouldn't it be cool to raise and sell 4-H pigs?" We discussed it with my mom and it was decided. Instead of sending LuLu, my 4-H pig, to the butcher, we decided to breed her. That way, I could save a few bucks, and save LuLu from certain death and a date with the freezer. A month later, we bred her using AI.

            Now, three months, three weeks, and three days later we wait with anticipation, checking her every hour, as she could go into labor at anytime. As it draws closer to her due date, we have spent hours researching pig birth. As it turns out, winter farrowing is much more difficult than summer farrowing. When in labor, a sow ges into a trance. She lies in her nest, a dazed expression on her face, and starts pushing. When the babies arrive, you must be there and at the ready with towels, grabbing the babies, drying them and helping them find the warmth and the mother's udder. This only has to happen in winter farrowing. Shortly after birth pigs need 1) an iron shot 2) castrated 3) ears notched. We've researched these processes and have gathered the tools needed, ready, although the castration seems more daunting than the others. All there is to do now is to wait.