Ten and Honky Tonk

Sep 23, 2015 by

Ten and Honky Tonk

The Kells 12 are one month old today. The 12 are now sadly 11. Well 10 and Honky Tonk. (When my mother was a child her uncle when asked how many children he had always answered 9 and *Frankeen.)

I lost one little boy to the scourge that is scour. He literally melted in front of my eyes as he dehydrated and lost so much weight. I did my best to save him but despite rallying initially he just gave up. I was so sad because I have fed all of them from the day they were born and can tell them all apart and know their personalities.

I started them on solid food at two weeks old mixing organic chick starter with their milk. I couldn’t get organic creep feed from my supplier despite them making loads of calls looking for it. The chick starter is 21% protein and it was what I used for the last litter. Initially they fell over it, walked in it, basically did everything but try to eat it. But then lo and behold on the second day the penny dropped. I am still giving them a bottle first thing in the morning and last thing at night because losing one so suddenly worried me. He had obviously not been eating although he had been having his milk in a bottle. I figured the last lot were with their mother eight weeks so it is no harm to keep it up. It actually doesn’t take long as they all gulp down a bottle in jig time almost sucking the bottle inside out. Now a few of them have got really heavy for lifting and holding I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it up.

The sick boy and Honky Tonk

Lady Hope aka Honky Tonk

Lady Hope now known as Honky Tonk because of her continual honking and also because when we commented on it one night, The Rolling Stones song of the same name just happened to come on the radio. She has recovered completely from scour and is back walking and running and generally terrorising every animal species in the place. I tried to put her back in with the others but they bullied her. She refuses to eat solid food and has a melt down if she doesn’t get her food in a bottle. I reckon she’s about 2 weeks behind the others so for now I am humouring her. Needless to say this is one little piggy who won’t be going to market!

After feeding time they love to climb all over us
Oly loves to sit with me when I’m feeding them

The first born and biggest male

The one who lost her tail 
Honky Tonk makes herself cosy in the dog’s bed

Long ago sows were put in farrowing crates in the belief that they lay on their piglets and squashed them to death. I’m sure this happened and also that plenty of sows rejected their piglets, but I hate the idea of pinning any animal into a crate. However, next time I intend to put her into the stable a couple of weeks before her litter is due. And if she rejects them, I will use a crate for a couple of weeks just to get them started. It’s no joke trying to feed 12 piglets and cow’s milk is for calves not piglets.

*Frankeen is the diminutive of Frank from Irish.

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