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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pig Progress 2

For the last 2 days, my biggest breeder pig, Lucy, has been in heat. After heat comes the standing part, which the first time I saw it, I didn't know what she was doing. The term "standing" refers to when the pig is ready to breed. This is the act of actually allowing themselves to breed. I remember the first time I went outside and this was happening. She was a lot calmer than normal and she kept following me. Not with a feed me type walk but like a "Where you going big boy" walk. I was confused. Was I being whooed by a pig. Well, I called a fellow I know that sold me the pigs and I told him what was going on. He said that she is standing and is ready to breed and that she is showing me this. Well I knew right away that I needed to get a boar so I asked him if he had one for sale. At first he said no but then he called me back and told me he would sell me one of his breeder boars that they had. He breeds predominately show pigs and he wanted a little bit more characteristics than this boy was packing. However, I want feeder pigs and he would do great for me. So in comes Dudley. Well, I missed the first standing period so I had to wait for the next one. (They cycle every 18-21 days)

So I noticed this morning that Lucy was standing and this time I had the boy to do the job. So I thought. I put the two together and off he went like white lightning. This was wild. My pig guy told me that you want to see when they actually do it, that way you will know to put them back together later in the day to make sure they breed "good." Then you will know the due date pretty close. So, I sit in observance of these two beasts of animals going at it. It felt weird first but then I thought, "this is what has to be done." But there was one set back. Lucy is about the same age as Dudley and weighs about 270 pounds. She is very tall though. Dudley, weighs about 340 pounds and is really compact. Her being tall and he being compact apparently possed a problem. After about 10 minutes of watching this horrible display of breeding, I realized Dudley may be a dud at this time in his life. I think he may need to grow a bit taller because he apparently couldn't find the mark. It was a huge let down. So all morning, I tried to make sure they were getting the job done and the whole time I was out there, the Dudster failed miserably. So then I just let them stay together to see if maybe they could figure it out. Surely in the wild these things are figured out. I mean in the dog world, you see little dogs somehow getting big dogs pregnant. So for now, I will have to wait and see. She should still be standing tomorrow but I have to work in Houston. I will just leave them together and then let her out when I get off in the morning. I just hope I don't get home and the Dudster has had a heart attack from trying so hard. Poor guy. I think I may have ruined his confidence by naming him Dudley.

If anyone has any information on how to help my poor Dudley out please let me know. I'm perplexed.

Once I quit stressing over the pigs, I went back to working on the pig area. I know have all the electric fencing done on the existing fences. All the T-Posts are set, insulators on, and my bottom line wires are strung. If I get a full days work in, I feel that I can have all the wire strung and everything connected together. Then the fun part, running water to the pad. Its not hard, just not my favorite thing to do. Good thing I didn't become a plumber I guess.


Anonymous said...

Do you have something that poor Dudley can stand on? :-)

Dig a hole for her to stand in?

Your a big guy .... hold him up high enough :-). Come on and "Farmer-Up" and help the poor boy out.

At least the female pig has someone else to court other than you. Would not want a situation that caused Lyns to be jealous.

Js Dad

The Kramer Family said...

Don't worry babe! Everything is under control here. The Dudster is still going at it, I just don't know if Lucy is going to be patient enough with him while he figures 'himself' out.

Your dad cracks me up. Although, I do think he is on to some pretty good suggestions here.

My favorite has to be 'hold him up high enough'. I think I laughed out loud on that one and almost woke the girls up!

Debra Mc said...

Maybe in time Ethel, being a little smaller, will be a better girlfriend for Dudley. My guess is they will figure out a way to make it work. Downside is we may not have a due date for the piggies but isn't that what farm life is all about? Everyday is a surprise. How could anyone not want to live on a farm!

Kramer said...

That is too funny. I thought that she would be standing all day today and I would let her out in the morning when I got off but I guess she couldn't stand it anymore. Lynsey said she opened the door to feed them and she bolted out back with the other pigs. Don't know if he did the deed but maybe I should build a step up box just in case.

Anonymous said...

to much info ...pigs or not...i think kayla was still waiting to see how dudley is hangin' with the rest of them...i have no fear that dudley will figure it out all by himself...being of the male gender that he is...i think with most males it all just comes to you guys' naturally...except for maybe rowdy and his boy... i mean dog friend...hang in there dudley...and jason just let lucy get her freedom while she can...really good looking pigs tho'...momma sandy

Tim said...


When we bought our Berkshires a few months back, we brought in two lines; one from a breeder in Georgia (the boar) and one from a breeder in Kentucky (the gilts). Both breed only Berkshires and have been doing so a long time.

The Kentucky guy told me that when it came time to breed the boar the first time, often he has to help him. "Help him?", I replied. "How"?"

"By inserting it for him" was his reply. He went on to say that if he didn't help this way, the boar may lose confidence and it would affect his future breeding potential.

Now, like you, I figure nature figures this out, so I'm not too inclined to help in this intimate act. I figure I'll just sit on the sideline with popcorn and watch. But I thought I'd tell you what he said in the event you wanted to "get in the game!"

Let me know how it goes!

Nature's Harmony Farm

Kramer said...


That is funny that you actually said that because when I saw how horrible of a job he was doing, my frustration almost sent me in to help. I mean, it was almost spontaneous, like I went in and then thought right before I did it, "Are you crazy." But after watching it over and over and nothing happening, I thought maybe I could help line him up a bit. So I walked over (they don't appear to mind that you are in there watching like some sick freak) and touched his flank. He didn't like this. He jumped off of her and snorted at me looking at me like, "Buddy, watching is one thing, but don't touch me." So I didn't. He is a big, stout pig, who I am sure I can outrun, but I don't want to lose his trust. When we first got him, he wouldn't let me touch him and now he enjoys to be pet each time I go out there.

If nothing happened this time and they go in heat again, that may be when I get in the game. Whether Dudley likes it or not. He has to earn his feed somehow.

Thanks Tim so much for the help and can't wait to see our farms grow together.

Tim said...

Ah, c'mon Jason. Just insert tab A into slot B. You can do it!


Nature's Harmony Farm