Well, here it is, another late night assisting a troubled gilt. Now, being a mother myself, I can empathize with the birthing process, especially the first time around. Gilts don’t take prenatal classes or have a labor coach that speaks pig aiding them through the process. . . This Duroc only has me – something that I’m not too sure she’s entirely pleased about!
I noticed that her milk was in around 4 p.m. today. When I came out to check her before calling it a night at 10 p.m., she was panting and pushing . There went that thought of a nice, long evening of slumber.
This gilt had been easily agitated since first crating her 5 days ago. With every piglet delivered, she let out an ear piercing scream, stood up, and nearly trampled the piglet, becoming increasingly agitated for 5 to 10 minutes thereafter. I decided to create a clean area, under a heat lamp, next to moms head, where she could hear but not see or lash out at her babies. Now, at 12:30 a.m., 11 have been born. I’m hoping that the end is soon in sight, but she’s still pushing. She had calmed down some, so I’ve started to introduce a couple of piglets at a time to nurse. She seems okay with that until she has a strong contraction. . .at which time she immediately stands up , lunges backward and then forward, as I quickly try to scoop the piglets up to avoid her tramping them.
I’ve just given her a second dose of oxytocin. She received 2 cc after the second piglet and I decided to give a second dose of 1.5 cc as the time between piglets had increased to more than 30 minutes and she’s appearing tired … plus her and I need to wrap this up so these hungry little ones can eat!
Well, after number 13 was born, the largest of them all, she cleaned, rolled one her side and started talking to her piglets. I thought everything was good until she grabbed hold of one and flung it into the wall. Thanks to divine intervention, my Pig Whisperer answered my middle of the night text, recommended 3 cc of Banamine and 20 minutes later, everybody seemed calm and content.
Maybe I worried for nothing, maybe I should have just let nature take its course… but God in His infinite wisdom had me stay and brought reinforcements from the guru, and as a result, we have a healthy litter of piglets. I will get her pen stripped , the piglets are already all worked… and maybe, just maybe, I will be sleeping by 3:30 a.m. It was worth it though!