Monday, 12 March 2012

Daisy gives birth

When I returned home from watching the Short-eared Owls, I did a quick tour of the animals, feeding and watering them as required. I noticed that Daisy had made herself a nest, a sign that she was getting ready to give birth.
I had been expecting this and was thinking it was  a good job I now didn't have to work for three days, so I should be around when the event happened.
So, with my binoculars and telescope, I wandered down to the end of the land to try to see the owl(s). 90 minutes later I returned, but as I passed the stables there was an unfamiliar grunting noise. I hadn't expected it quite so soon, but I suspected what was happening, and when I went in I found Daisy fairly unsettled, and this little spotty bundle half covered in straw. I sent Sue a text to get home ASAP, as I knew how much she wanted to see the birth.

Daisy was happy to let me in with her, but she was restless and not settling down. By the time Sue got home, about half an hour later, she had still not given birth to any more piglets. Slightly worrying, but I was worried too for the newborn which had made no attempt to approach her or to suckle, instead hiding itself in the straw. Eventaully it emerged from the straw, but Daisy snapped at it and it appeared that she might have injured it. Sue and I decided to leave Daisy to get on with it, but to make periodic checks through the evening and the night.

So we returned to the farmhouse to enjoy our first home produced gammon joint! After all, that's what this is all about. The whole experience certainly beats just getting in the car, nipping off to the supermarket and returning with a neatly packaged and conveniently anonymous piece of meat.

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