Our wonderful boar, Tim (the good-looking fellow on the left), had gone to "do his duty" with a neighbor for a few months this last spring, and had been sent home with a gentle complaint that it was unlikely anything had "been accomplished" and no piglets were expected for their sow.
We recently heard from that same neighbor that Tim was a daddy to ELEVEN piglets, all perfect. So we started looking harder at our own sows, which we had noticed were looking like they might have biscuits in the oven. Yep, we had two pregnant sows, possibly three, but we weren't sure when they were due exactly. Although swine gestation is typically 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days, we knew we were close.
Turns out, Cinnamon was the first to farrow yesterday morning, presenting us with seven beautiful little piglets. We had roughly planned to house the sows and piglets in one side of the first horse barn, but upon consideration, Frank and Maddrey decided that another pig house needed to be built. Now, that would take a day or so, but the weather forecast said serious thunderstorms and hard rain were headed our way in the early morning hours. So Maddrey and I ran into town to get parts and Frank got to work.
Many hours later, in the blackness of an overcast, seriously dark night, Frank and Maddrey dragged the new pig house down into the field - through the mud from previous rains, over the roots and rocks and ruts, and into the pig fence. While Frank kept Mama Cinnamon occupied, Maddrey quickly made a deep bed of straw, bringing the piglets up into it, so they didn't really move. Then Frank literally dropped the house on them - tipping it carefully over the hay bed and piglets. Mama Cinnamon hurried inside to check her babies just as the rain began to pour. And pour hard. But Mama and her new babies were safe and warm in their new house. A much better outcome than the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz!
Frank temporarily roofed the pig house with a tarp, but will be adding tougher plastic and wiggle wire (which we love for building our hoop houses!) as time allows.
By the way, in order to obtain these photos, I needed to climb across the electric pig fence. I've been moving so much better since breaking my hip last year, I was confident I could get across. And I did. Except when my second foot landed, I slipped and fell face first into the pig pen and ONTO our giant boar Tim. Visions of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz flashed in my head. Fortunately, our boar is a lovely fellow and only snorted a little, then looked back at me to ask if I was okay. And if I was, would I be willing to scratch his butt?