Sunday, November 15, 2009

Risk, the Runt

Risk seemed like an appropriate name for our littlest, runty piglet as we took him away from his six rambunctious siblings and Fife this morning. Risk is 1/3 the size of the others, if that, and now that Fife's other 6 piglets are scampering about, wrestling and chewing on each other, the runt was getting roughed up and abused. This morning, the humane choices were to euthanize the runt or see it we could nurse him.

We made the decision to pull him out, try bottle feeding him with some goat's milk and see if he could get a bit stronger. This is generally against our better judgment -- figuring they are better off with their kind and available milk 24/7. Which is what we had been deciding for the past few days. He was strong and tenacious enough to make it through some cold nights and negotiating 6 sibling piglets and a 500 pound Mama - maybe he'll make it.

"God, I can't believe we are doing this," Mari said several times today. We are bottle feeding a 5 day old piglet. At just 2 pounds, he is very precarious. I am glad to report he is taking the bottle, but only time will tell. And how we are to fit in 16 feedings a day, we are not so sure. Nor do we know how much a 2 lb piglet should be drinking. I am sure many farmers would think we are crazy and wasting our time. But clearly, we have a soft spot for the underdogs and decided to give him a chance.


  1. are you saying you're bottle feeding him and then putting him back with his pig falily? if so, I think that's good. I just try to give little ones some extra support but want them with growing up their mama and siblings.

  2. I miss my little bottle fed piglets. A friend use to have several sows and he would give me the little runts if he thought they would not survive left with the litter. I definitely did not feed sixteen times a day,, more power to you but I only lost one that had some unknown internal damage. I too fed fresh goat's milk.