A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog Preparing for Piglets. The piglets are now two weeks old and mama is giving them a little freedom to go out and explore the world. So, I was finally able to get a few photos to share.
I’ve never bred pigs before. But when my neighbors and I went to pick up this breeding pair of pigs, the breeder warned us that no matter how good of friends we are with our pigs, when Mama has babies don’t get near her piglets. That has proved to be good advice.
Mama Aja is well over 400 pounds of sweetness, unless you try to get near her babies. Then she snaps at you like a shark in a feeding frenzy, throwing her head back and opening her powerful jaws to make sure you understand she could rip you in two the second she makes up her mind to. It’s quite spectacular to see…though not something I recommend trying at home.
As protective as she is though, Aja is also not afraid to have a little “me” time. While we were watching her and the piglets (from a distance) she used her mouth like a shovel to tidy her pen, moving straw around and making herself a nice, cushy spot to lie down in. She laid down, called her babies, and nursed them for a few minutes. Then she gave them clear signs (mini-shark frenzy) that they should get out of her way while she relaxed and took a nap.
The little guys left her alone in the shelter, grabbed a spot of sun and pig piled to stay warm so Mama could get some undisturbed rest. The unlucky top pigs shivered, uncomplaining while the warm ones underneath had a nice rest too. Then they rearranged and the warm ones got cold and the cold ones got warm, until it was time to trade up again. Cooperation at its best.
And papa, he’s enjoying some R&R too in his very own pasture. He’s still close enough to his beloved Aja to feel her companionship while being a safe distance from the babies. He’s getting lots of extra pets so he doesn’t feel too neglected, and is finally putting on a little weight now that Aja is not able to steal his food.
It’s a bitter sweet to realize that these adorable little piglets will grow up to be food. But, they’ll get to spend quite a bit more time than most pigs nursing with their mama. Then they’ll live happy lives on pasture until their moment comes.