I am pleased to let you know that Cagney is over the worst and has returned to her usual gentle and happy self. She has been in the farrowing crate since Friday when we realised that she had mastitis and was not very well at all. The farrowing crate made it easier to inject her and we decided to leave her in the crate so that Lacy would not disturb her as Lacy is the dominant sow and had been trying to get a piggy back from Cagney when Cagney wasn’t feeling very well.
Cagney slept most of Friday. I made sure that there was plenty of straw for her to lie on and then when she was laid down I placed lots of straw on top of her, which acted like a straw duvet. I made sure that she had water and food on hand so that if she began to feel better she would be able to eat and drink and build up her strength.
I was relieved when she did start to eat and drink. On Saturday she was beginning to eat and drink a bit but she still wasn’t herself.
By Sunday morning I could tell that Cagney was on the mend, she was grunting to Lacy who is in the other barn, which is just a door away. I definately knew she was better by Sunday teatime when I went to the barn to feed the sows and piglets and came face to face with Cagney. She was no longer in the farrowing crate but had managed to get out. This sow should be called Houdini!
Cagney has lost weight as she has been ill and I think that she has slid herself under the bars on the farrowing crate. I am sure that some of you must think that it is cruel to keep a sick pig in a farrowing crate, but it has been the best place for her. My farrowing crates are very large and there is plenty of room for Cagney to move about and lay down easily. I wanted to keep her separate from lacy as she was so ill on Friday. Also because Lacy is the most dominant sow I didn’t want her to bother Cagney or take Cagney‘s share of the food as Cagney needed building up.
Cagney has had a bad case of mastitis and some of her teats are affected. I now have to decide if Cagney will be able to provide milk for another litter of piglets. She still has 8 teats that don’t seem to be affected. Cagney has been a great mother and has never showed aggression towards her piglets, or me! She has a very gentle nature, I could not have wished for a nicer pig as my first experience of pigs.
I now face the dilemma of deciding if I should part with my beloved Cagney. I love this pig and do not want her to go, but is it fair to get her in pig and then have to hand rear piglets that can’t get Cagney‘s milk?
I would keep Cagney and Lacy as my pet pigs as they are the first pigs I have ever had but there isn’t the space to keep them and get more sows for breeding at the moment.
I will let you know when I have decided what to do.