But the ravens took Clara's first babies, all except Piglet, a little boy. He stayed with his mom and dad until he kept trying to have relations with his mother. His father thought that was disgusting and tried his best to keep him away from her, but the little guy just couldn't seem to help his incestuous feelings, so he got locked up in a hoop coop. At first he was terribly lonely. Pigs are herd animals and need other pigs to be content.PIglet was visited daily while he was in jail for those two months. He ate and drank well, like a pig, and gained a little more weight. And then, the inevitable day came along and PIglet was no more, just fondly remembered on the barbeque.
Clara had six babies with her next litter and all went on to be quite well and happy. It was around four months of age that the young boys wanted to breed everything in sight, including their sisters and mother. Again, poor Wilbur attempted to prevent this, but he had a go at his daughters too, so the kids were all sent to freezer camp. The smallest was around 40 pounds and the biggest was closer to 55 pounds or so.
I must say, raising these pigs for meat makes much more sense for a small family (of one in my case) than most other animals. The piglets are ready to butcher in 4 months. The mother completely cares for them for the first month, so really they are only fed for 3 months and they do not eat a great deal because they are small animals. But they produce lots of red meat, which is what the flesh looks like, pound for pound.
Clara is going to have piglets today or tomorrow, I think. She has prolapsed a little, that is her back end never returned to the tight package it should have been after her last litter. That means this will be Clara's final litter and then she will have to go to freezer camp as well. Already a boar and a sow are sold to the man who is renting my pasture this year. He took quite an interest in the small pigs and wants to give it a try. I would prefer to sell the babies rather than butcher them, so perhaps I will be more fortunate with this litter since it is going into summer. No one wants to raise animals over the winter when it is so much work here.
I am thankful for Clara and her contribution to the farm. She is a good girl and has had a great life. Normally she and Wilbur have the run of the barn yard, but with her so close to delivery they are in their pen for safety. Hopefully the ravens will leave her alone this time. I put a big bale of straw in one of the shelters where she had been building her nest. Wilbur will have to sleep in the old quarters by himself for a week or two.
If anyone is interested in some pot belly piglets, in 4 weeks or so, they will be ready for their new homes and they are so adorable! I hear one squealing your name...