Friday, August 19, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do

 I knew it was going to happen. It had to happen. We had to split up James and Julia after she had her piglets because we don't want her to get pregnant again too soon. James was being the most awesome father. When you looked out there, you were as likely to see the piglets with him as with Julia. But then a couple days ago, I looked out there and saw James with his nose to Julia's back end following her wherever she went. Not good. My original thought was that we would move James to the sheep pasture, but then I realized that no one was in the pasture next to Julia and the piglets, so I thought it might be nicer for him to be next door, so to speak. And if the piglets really want to visit, they can.

Piglets, already getting muddy like mama!

Katherine took a bucket of whey out to the pasture, and as soon as James saw the bucket, he came running because he loves whey. He followed her through the gate into the neighboring pasture. She put down the bucket, and he was happily slurping up the whey as she left the pasture and closed the gate behind her. That was two days ago.

You can see the path James has worn next to the fence.

Yesterday, I seriously thought James was going to kill all of the grass along the fence in his pasture as he paced back and forth all day long -- and I was right. He wouldn't even go to the water trough, and by early afternoon, he was pacing with his mouth hanging open. So, Katherine went out there and convinced him to go to the water trough and have a drink. But he is still spending most of his day next to the fence looking longingly at Julia and the piglets. At chore time last night, the babies all jumped up as if on cue and ran over to the fence where James was laying, and I swear I could hear little voices saying, "Come on, Daddy, let's play!"

Julia, covered in mud, as usual

So, as sad as it is to break up this happy little family, I really don't want piglets born in December or January or February, so James will simply have to accept this new living arrangement. I just hope my fencing is up to the challenge!


Mama Hen said...

Ohhh, so sad, but I completely understand your reasoning. Your momma pig is huge! I would be scared to go out there with her!

LindaG said...

Perfectly logical. Good luck with the separation!

Jeremiah said...

Aside from not wanting piglets so soon, what's the typical waiting period between farrowing before you breed back?

Does Julia seem to miss him, or is breeding the only draw between pigs?

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Julia doesn't seem to miss him as much as misses her, but then she does have seven piglets to keep her company. The babies do sometimes run over to the fence like they're saying "Hi!" From what I've heard, most people breed their pigs to farrow twice a year, six months apart, so they breed again when the babies are two months old.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

The fact that pudgy muddy Julia can break such a bif geart is hope in a bottle to women everywhere

Velva said...

I feel for James and Julia. It is tough to be away from the one you love, and your babies too.

No doubt that James will join the family soon.


hawaii helicopter rides said...

I always find Hogs cute. He seems to be sad.


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