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July 11, 2010

So, we were REALLY worried that our pigs weren’t pregnant.

We got the boar (Prince Big B****, as Paige calls him) waaaay back in the winter/early spring (dunno when; I can’t follow what the heck goes on round here anymore) – and he went straight in with the ladies: Big Momma (a.k.a. Oprah) and her six daughters from last year.  The Prince went straight to work, gettin’ it on. Good, good; he knows what to do, we thought.  Gestation in a sow is 112-114 days, so we marked it off on the calendar; babies expected late May, early June. (um, which means he arrived in February-March, I guess!)

May comes. No fat pigs. May goes.

Beginning of June comes.  No piglets. End of June goes.

Scott and I got rather worried at this point. We had SEEN the Prince, on NUMEROUS occasions, doing what boy animals do best.  Come to think of it – he was still doing it.  Oh, crap.  Are the vessels of the Prince empty???

Which, frankly, would suck.  We’d spent all winter feeding seven fat pigs, to get a boar in the spring and feed him, too.  We weren’t even milking at that point (which was the whole purpose of getting pigs: to transform waste milk and whey into pork).  So, that was a lot of grain, and a lot of Scott driving to his brother’s house for waste milk. Not to mention all the cleaning of the barn, keeping them warm and happy in winter, and all else that goes with animals.  Of course, we paid for a boar; was that turning out to be pointless? Obviously Big Momma isn’t infertile – she had 12 wee piggies the very first try. (6 of each, and one for each nipple! Score!!)

In all – if those pigs don’t breed, we’d be down about four grand. BAAGGHH.  

July comes….and one or two piggies start to look fat; teats start puffing up, getting little piggy boobs. Sweet! Does this mean….?  We held our breath.

A few days after that, you could start to see babies squiggling about in the piggy belly area.  Definitely piglets.

Then – joy of joy. First week in July: first piggy litter. One of Momma’s girls (a tan lassie) pops out nine pink Wilburs.

Funny, that – first time round, Momma was black and Dad was pink with black spots; Momma had tan, black, and pink with black spots babies. Her daughter, who is tan, gets awash with the Prince’s genes – the Prince being a pink piggy.  Well, we did say Ol’ Ways was a Monastery.  Now, where did I put my copy of the works of Gregor Mendel….?

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