Belatrix's 2nd Litter
Belatrix's litter arrived on Saturday morning. She hadn't shown any obvious signs of nesting but her milk had come in so we knew she would be having her litter very soon.
The camera was on so we were able to monitor her very closely.
She was breathing very heavily but not showing any obvious signs of labour so I went to make a cup of coffee.
I went back upstairs to look at the monitor. Bella was standing up and there was a piglet on the floor.
We went out to find a perfect little piglet. Bella was very unsettled so we put the piglet under the heat lamp
THe first piglet was born and the last piglet arrived at 3.30pm.
Belatrix is very unusual in that she gets up and wanders around between piglets. She wouldn't settle to let them feed so we put them under the heat lamp as soon as they were born.
The Grandchildren came over to see them and saw several born and had cuddles with them.
Bella managed brilliantly and as soon as the last piglet was born she allowed them to suckle.
They are a lovely litter. 6 girls and 9 boys. THere are a couple of smaller piglets but they are all feeding well.
Babies all made it through the first 24 hours. They are so vunerable during the first few days it's always a worrying time.
They are a very clever litter and have quickly found the heat lamp. Belatrix is being a super Mum again. She is trying to be careful when she lies down but she is so big compared to them
We haven't given them any names as yet but are wiaiting until they are a bit older just in case anything happens.
THis litter are going to be named after different types of chocolate bars and sweets!
Sadly one of the smallest boys died at 3 days old. The rest of the litter are now a week old and feeding well. They are all very active but it has been too cold to let them go outside.
Bella is being an amazing mum again.
Piglets have had lots of visitors and have taken their first steps outside. It is stil very cold so we didn't let them stay out long. Bella is desperate to be outside.
Piglets are nearly 3 weeks old now and are doing really well. We have been away and Bill's boss has been looking after the animals for us.
The piglets have grown a lot during our time away and little Peanut (our tiny boy) is catching up well. The piglets love being outside now and with the miler weather they no longer need the heat lamp.
We have all the homes we need for them and they will all be going to our regular customers.
We will be keeping one on as a breeding sow. Fudge is the chosen one! They are all getting their names now as they are starting to be more easily recognised. So far we have Fudge. Peanut, Licorice,
Smartie, Crunchy,Caramel, Skittles and Rollo. Still 6 to be given their chosen names.
Didn't manage to get a picture of all 14. some were inside with Belatrix while the rest were outside.
Piglets are 4 weeks old now and are getting very speedy. They have started to eat small amounts of creep feed.
They love being in the field and like their Mum have become expert diggers!
Bill lost them yesterday. Panic was starting to set in but the he checked the outdoor pen on the yard and found them all asleep.
Poor Bella is loosing condition fast. She is having huge amounts of food but still can't keep the weight on. She is feeeding her piglets really well. This week should be the last week the piglets make huge demands on her. They are increasing their intake of creep food. We will wean them at 6 weeks.
PIglets are now being weaned. The 4 we are keeping are staying with Bella. The other 10 are being kept inside while they are weaned.
Fudge. Smartie. Bonbon and Licorice are staying with us.
Caramel and Toffee have just left us to go to their new home.
The boys will be leaving us in a couple of days.
Belatrix has done another really good job for us. She really is a supermum.