We knew it would be soon, for poor Cheyenne was getting big and uncomfortable. She just was looking miserable. And then the flood waters brought down a huge limb and wrecked a bit of their pig pen, making it easy for the hogs to get out and walk about, Maggie found Miss Cheyenne in the feed room, making a nest! She knew something was up and it was best to let her stay there, safe and sound, in a nice quiet place to farrow.
I felt bad for her, she seemed a little bewildered in her labor stages, panting and a little worried. You could just tell. It is her first litter and though she has been with her mother on two other births, I think she just wasn’t sure what was going on and a little nervous. We sat with her and helped keep her company. She sure liked the ear rubs and pats. American Guinea Hogs are so sweet and they just seem to really like human companionship. We knew it would be soon because her breathing got very fast for awhile. Hogs breath very quickly in the later stages of labor.
We thought she still had a few hours and went back to the house to get some supplies, and stuff to keep us busy… maybe a chair or two and when we came back, she had delivered her whole litter! And had them cleaned up! She’s an expert! Gosh, I guess she has been paying attention to her mom! Maybe we have a good hog midwife here.
Seven little babies! Our largest litter to date! And boy, are they cute. 4 boys and 3 girls! Perfect, if you ask me. A few possibly as breeders and some as feeders to raise up. Our first litter of the year is all spoken for, but this litter is all available. We had have several interested folks but no serious reservations yet, so it should be interesting. If we don’t place them as piglets, we intend to raise them for meat in the coming spring. Pigs are a win win situation, if you ask me. And these AGHs are easy to keep and gourmet eating, as we have heard! We never have raised up any as feeders yet because everyone keeps buying them! Maybe this will be the year. We should have two litters in the fall as well…
But right now, they are adorable and good, strong and healthy. Miss Cheyenne is proving to be a wonderful mom, very attentive and very content to be a mom. And she has learned from the best. I was so happy to see her do just what her mom does with a litter… she will call them, and wait, standing patiently until they come to attention. Then she goes down on one knee, waiting. And then after a few long moments, she will carefully lay down. She is a good girl. I don’t think we have to worry about her smooshing any babies. They seem to learn the routine very quickly. Get outta Momma’s way if she’s gonna lay down! Once she is down, they swarm her!
Of course, the hoof gang was waiting outside the feed room. They knew something marvelous was happening in the feed room. And they had a suspicion that it involved snacks. Yes… the powers are strong in these ones. They can detect food lady leftovers a mile away! (We brought out a pair of boiled corn ears that we had leftover from dinner. Cheyenne enjoyed them very much. Everyone else thought we weren’t being fair!)
One of the most wonderful things is that Cheyenne let me help her fix her nest after the babies were born. She had made a pretty good one before, but then had messed it up a good deal with delivery. I got the rake and pushed it back in order for her and then she lumbered over to help me, grabbing big mouthfuls of hay and moving it around. We worked side by side silently, until she thought it was enough and called her babies over to nurse. I think it’s just so marvelous to be a part of our animal’s lives and to have them trust us enough to let us be a part of their special times. It is a privilege and special. At least to me!Pin It