So. The piglets were born a month early and we weren’t quite ready for them. And nighttime temps were still below zero. So was I stressed about how to keep little piglet babies warm?
The first time we sweetly asked the menfolk on the farm to help us create something was the evening the piglets were born. It was only about 35 degrees in the barn and the heat from the lamps wasn’t staying by the shivering babies.We all came up with a quickly put together late night conglomeration of heat lamps and tarps – hard to explain, and there were no photographs to prove it ever happened. But imagine a giant tent of tarps with heat lamps inside. And don’t ask me about fire hazards.
Even though I was sure the piglets were going to freeze overnight and was just about sick with dread walking out to the barn that next morning, they actually survived in their warm and toasty tent!
However, there is a lot of punting on a farm and our tent didn’t last long.
The second time we sweetly asked the menfolk on the farm to help us create something was the very next day when Red decided all those tarps were nice but didn’t fit her decor and started ripping them down. So we walled in most of the piglets’ creep feeder including the ceiling and plugged two heat lamps into the top. We stuck a tarp over the door opening so we’d still have access to the piglets.
Having trouble envisioning that?
|Boxed-in creep feeder with the tarp door flipped up|
There is a space on the right hand side of the box in the above picture where the piglets can go under and get to Red’s hang out, which is pictured here –
|Red’s stall, piglets walking through from the creep feeder|
And that’s all well and good. She calls to them and they come through the bottom space there to nurse or hang out and life is great.
|Piglets nursing, shown from creep feeder|
|Piglets nursing, shown from Red’s stall|
Essentially the piglets can walk around wherever they want to, but Red can’t get through to the piglet’s area. Piglets stay warm and safe, Mama stays cool and…um, gets a break.
Well, that’s the way it is supposed to work. Unless of course you don’t put that bottom board down low enough and Big Mama Red decides she wants to push through to be in the creep feeder area with the piglets.
Wouldn’t that be stressful if that happened?
Yah, it was. And that’s another story for tomorrow. 🙂