So, instead of feeling the need to blabber on incessantly about loathsome farm details you may or may not care about, I'm going to try out doing image-only posts coupled with more detailed ones to mix things up a bit. That way, you can get your daily mountainstead fix (and I can keep a visual record of what the hell is going on around here to refer to in the future), and I can just throw up a picture or two (or ten) and still feel like I'm being productive.
On another note, I've received feedback from some folks that they've had trouble posting comments before, and I'm not sure if it's Blogger's fault or what, but would you do me a huge huge huge favor and comment on this post just so that I can troubleshoot this a little bit? I also get approximately ten bazillion spam comments per day from people in the U.K. or wherever trying to sell me mortgages or erectile disfunction pills or a casino in India, so it's possible that the trouble is entirely because I'm retarded and get tired of filtering through them. Even if you're just a lurker and never comment on any blogs, you can write something as short as "hi, i love this shit!" or "you suck!" or "you're out of your mothereffin mind if you think Tennessee and farming are cool" or whatevs. Just help me out and leave a comment -- if you are unable to for whatever reason, take an extra minute and shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the same commentary you would have left in the comment -- I'll send a thank you response, then delete your email immediately and you'll never hear from me again. Pretty please?
NOW, with that out of the way, a pig update.
We brought two sisters home on April 4th (coincidentally, Jay's birthday), barely an hour after their birth. We fed them colostrum for the first 24 hours and then switched over to a milk replacer fed from a bottle. They were both runts but seemed healthy and vigorous. Sadly, on the fourth day, one of the sisters stopped eating and started making pained noises non-stop. We noticed that her rear end and back legs had turned red and then blue/purple-ish and was clearly causing her discomfort -- we think she may have had a circulatory problem. It may or may not have been treatable, but she was suffering, and our neighbor who knows way more about pigs than we do was at work and wouldn't be home for several more hours. I tried an internet search to no avail. Jay put an end to her suffering. When we were able to finally talk to him, our neighbor confirmed that we did the right thing -- he knew of no shots or medication that would have addressed the issue (we still don't really know what it was, but she may have just been weak overall). We knew that getting runts was a gamble but still felt like failures so soon after getting our first large farm animal. Now you can sorta understand why I didn't post an update sooner.
Anyway, the guy we got the piglets from had assured us that if one or both died, we could come back over and get replacements at no charge. So Jay went back the next day and got a boar who we now call Asshole Pig. He's at least 30% larger than Miz Pig and yet was still the smallest of the remaining litter. He is demanding, loud, obnoxious, and super funny to watch, but we are counting down the days until we can move him and Miz Pig outdoors permanently. For now, we let them in the pen pictured above when it's nice out. They have plenty of shade (I was worried about sunburn) and a dog water bowl to play in (and a Kong because they like dog toys). They have escaped repeatedly and like to chase the dogs around the yard, but we think we have the cage secured finally (at least for now). They're already rooting around in the grass and like to bury themselves under the straw bedding. They use one section of the run as their toilet, unlike dogs and cats who are disgusting creatures and poop wherever they please (Nekkie is especially fond of the fluffy garden bed soil -- damn cat).
I initially was disappointed that we didn't get at least one piglet with spots, but Miz Pig is apparently developing them for me, as you can see in the third picture (she just looks dirty, but it's her skin).
It's raining today, and both pigs are pissed off that they're stuck inside and not out having fun terrorizing the dogs. And they just woke up and are hungry. Gotta go.