We had to do some livestock rearranging over at FB's. The sheep are due to start lambing in the coming week and we gave them more room for the job.
They now have access to half of the barn, which is about 170 feet long, total. There are a couple of pens available to place new families for the first couple of days so that mom and babies can all get acquainted away from the crowd.
These are the two "X" sisters, Flora and Zinnia, born a year apart, but nearly identical. Both lambs were born here and kept as part of the flock. These two will have grown some of the really nice fleeces.
We moved calves to the other end of the barn and, hopefully won't have to use the empty pen next to the pigs. No sense tempting a couple of very rowdy, 200 pound, predatory omnivores with tender, young lamb. Pigs WILL eat anything they can catch and these two could outrun a cheetah.
FB thought she might lose the white pig last week when she suddenly developed pneumonia. We have no idea why and the black pig never had any trouble. Maybe it is the crazy weather changes we keep having. The only good thing about the pig being so sick is that it slowed her down enough to get some antibiotics into her. Handling pigs is a real nightmare.
Pigs are craftily intelligent and, if trained from birth, can be made into pets. These are NOT pets. Pigs are fast, powerful, aggressive, amazingly greedy and can be extremely dangerous to work with. Fortunately, she is 100% recovered now and back in raring form; ready, able and willing to eat any hapless lambs she could sink her tusks into.
Losing a big pig like this would have been a real blow, both emotionally and financially. Luckily, antibiotics still work. This is an organic farm and we do not use antibiotics or any other drugs on a routine basis. However, if an animal gets sick or injured, we treat it. We do not believe in letting anyone suffer for the sake of semantics. When this pig is butchered, we will keep the meat for ourselves. It will be perfectly safe to eat, but it will not be for sale.
I think this will be the first to pop....
The earliest she could be due is Monday, but I'm not so sure she'll make that far.
FB calculated the original due date at April 17th. The rest might make it.
We generally prefer to have the lambs born in May. However, FB and a neighbor used the same ram to breed the ewes last year and the Ram took it upon himself to break out from the neighbor's fence and come visiting a month early.
By next weekend, there will likely be many new babies bouncing around.
These girls can't possibly get much more pregnant.