Preparing for Piglets
We love our pigs. Our customers love our piglets even more!
Just as summer turns to fall, our sows prepare for their fall farrowing (a farming word for pigs giving birth). Most sows farrow in farrowing crates, narrow steel-pipe boxes, the size of a coffin where they can't turn around but only lay down, on top of concrete, inside a barn with hundreds of other sows, all making terribly loud & stressful noises.
We do things a little different at our farm.
First, we prepare an acre plot with deep bedding wood chips, about 24 inches deep all the way around. We then dump mounds of dry leaves and old hay bales throughout. Lastly, we set an electric fence, set the feed & water troughs, and finally let the sows in.
Over the next few weeks, they will begin "nesting". This is their natural habit as they prepare for their young. If given ample time and sufficient materials, the sows create an extremely safe, comfortable and peaceful place for their new litter. Funny enough, they can make better shelters than we can, and an old hay bale is about their favorite material.
Once born, these piglets thrive, learning from their mom how to live life well; rooting, foraging, and how to not touch the electric fence. After we wean the piglets, and the sows move back to pasture, we convert this space into a deep bedding permaculture garden (come see fall 2017).
Keep an eye on our blog in early October for a post about the piglets...as soon as they arrive!