This is such a great time of year for farrowing (the term for a sow giving birth to piglets). We had two litters born this past week at the Nicola Valley ranch with lots more coming. We'll be moving some of the ones born last month to the Burnaby farm by the May long weekend and can't wait for you to meet them!
Our sows are farrowing out in the pasture in specially designed "farrowing huts" that have sloped sides to prevent the large sows from accidentally rolling over and crushing the little piglets up against a wall. Most sows spend their whole lives in tiny crates but we believe that they should be free to express their natural behaviours and enjoy lots of social interaction. She is free to come and go as she pleases but the piglets stay in the hut until they are large enough to climb over the entrance barrier at which point they are generally hearty enough to meet the outside world. Today was their first day out. The piglets will stay with their mothers for about 6 weeks, when they will be weaned and moved to their own pasture. Here's a video and some photos... enjoy:
Marble and her 1 day old piglets:
Ginger and her 3 day old piglets:
20 seconds old:
Marble, fueling up on breakfast for another long day of feeding piglets: