Runt Of Litter Leaves Farm

It is with a heavy heart that I write to say that my beloved little runt (Splays) of the piglets has left the farm. He has I am pleased to say gone to pig owners who have bought saddlebacks from us twice before and I know that he will be cared for well. He has gone to keep another runt of a litter company so it couldn’t be better for my beautiful wee piglet.

Splays, the runt of the litter at 8 weeks old

Splays, the runt of the litter at 8 weeks old

I had named him Splays because he had splayed legs after the sow grabbed hold of him when she had finished farrowing. I spent the first few days of his life hand feeding Splays every few hours to make sure that he survived as he would never have been able to compete with the others to suckle from Lacy’s teats.

Splays the splayed legged runt of the litter

Splays the splayed legged runt of the litter

Over the first week or so Splay’s legs got better and when all the piglets and sows were returned to the barn together he was wondering about and holding his own with the others.

Between week two and week seven I fed splays four times a day in the other barn with some over piglets. They got milk four times a day but were also eating the creep feed. Once the piglets had had enough milk they would line up at the door.

Splays, the runt, waiting to go back in the weaner barn

Splays, the runt, waiting to go back in the weaner barn

Slowly but surely Splays began to grow and it was a delight when he ate the creep feed. He is a clever piglet and knew that eating the pellets I gave him outside the weaner barn meant there would be less competition. Splays even managed to negotiate the step in and out of the barn and loved investigating the fold yard with some of the other braver piglets.

Splays, the runt, eating creep feed pellets

Splays, the runt, eating creep feed pellets

Although I am pleased that Splays will be keeping another runt company, I will miss him dearly and would have happily kept him. He will be missed dearly but remembered with fond memories. He is truely a pig success story as he would never have lived without my intervention.

Here’s to Splays, my beloved runt of the litter – hope you are enjoying your new home and new piggy and human friends!

Do you keep pigs and have a favourite pig or a story about rearing a runt of the litter, if so, then farmingfriends would love to hear from you. I have also set  up a farmingfriends pig forum where you can ask questions, get advice or chat about pigs and piglets.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

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Click on the book image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.