Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New pigs

The girls and I went down to pick up four new piglets today -- two gilts (baby girls) and two boars (uncastrated males). They are currently in the back of the pick-up truck because Mike couldn't find his tin snips to finish their shelter while we were gone. He did finally find them and is now working on getting their shelter done.
This is one of the gilts. They are easy to tell apart because the girls have notched ears, while the boys ears are not cut. The farmer must have been thinking of keeping these girls for breeding because that's how they identify pigs. Rather than tattooing like we do with goats or using ear tags like we do with sheep, they notch their ears. The location of the notch tells you what litter they came from and which pig number they were. Anyway, you wouldn't waste your time notching ears unless you were planning to register the pigs. Since the boys don't have notched ears, it means that their destiny has always been pork.

Looks like they have some lice eggs around their necks. The farmer said he hadn't put any powder on them, which makes me think that he normally does that -- puts delousing powder on them. This is the fourth time we've bought pigs from him, and they've never had lice before. So, we need to figure out how to deal with this. I certainly don't want them to have lice because they're blood suckers, and the pigs won't gain weight well if they have any kind of parasites.

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