At the time of writing this article Petal pig is approx 2 years old. She is one of Rob Rose’s latest and best generation of coloured micro pigs.
With the arrival of Petal we can now show the visitors to our farm three generations of micro pigs. Our other pigs are – Coco and Murphy who are around 6 years old – Tipex our 3 year old black and white sow, and now Petal who is just under 2 years of age. Its great to see all these pigs together when they are in the paddock, you really get to see how the size and height of the animals is being reduced over time. There is quite a big difference in height between Petal and our oldest pigs
Here is a quick video we shot of Petal and her piglets
The piglets in this video are 4 days old and you can occasionally catch a glimpse of Petal in the background.
Just like Tipex we brought her inside 3 weeks prior to the birth. During this period we double the pigs food ration as well as placing them on a special diet. We believe this diet and extra care really help with the development of the unborn piglets during the later stages of the pregnancy.
Petal was a bit frustrated at first upon being brought inside to farrow. She is a very active and energetic pig and she can be often found outside the sty grazing way more than our other adults. I think she was a bit confused by the process due it being her first litter and her first time inside, but we made her as comfortable as possible and the extra food ration helped her relax.
Boredom becomes a problem when bringing a pig inside to farrow for such a long time prior to the birth. We always add a Snak-a-Ball to a pig pen whenever we bring any animal inside to farrow. We then proceed to place most of their daily ration of sow nuts in the ball and this usually keeps them busy for most of the day and therefore reduces any boredom the animal may suffer.The added bonus of the Snak-a-Ball is that it also helps exercise the animal.
Before the Birth
24 hours before she gave birth to her piglets Petal started to farrow. She had scraped all the straw into a pile in the corner of her pen, it was a very cute site to see.
A great way of telling whether any pig is farrowing is to hand them a bit of straw in their mouth. If they then proceed to take the straw back to their nest you know you have not long to before your piglets are due.
She went into labour in the early hours, upon checking her in the morning we found 8 healthy pink micro piglets suckling from her. She had done a superb job especially considering it was her first litter.
The photos below were taken when these piglets were two days old
Click any image to enlarge it