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Greasy Pig

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

My last post was written the day our son was born:)

Since his birth, I have not spent a lot of time in the barn until just recently. But Jesse would bring daily reports from the barn and the day the little piglets arrived on the farm, I packed us up, baby and all, and we all got some fresh air.

They're so cute when they first come. They immediately set out to check out the entire scope of their pen. The big pile of straw in the middle is an invitation for them to burrow into and scatter, just what we want them to do.

Cold mornings we come out to the barn and one by one, little piglets pop out of their nests, where they are completely buried under straw.

But wrapped up as I was in the newborn world, I could still detect the notes of dismay in Jesse's voice as he started mentioning things that didn't look so good in the little pigs.

Maybe they were destined to be sick. Maybe we made a rookie mistake. Either way, we lost a whole litter of pigs this spring from a condition called Greasy Pig.

We get our pigs from the same small farmer who grinds and mixes all our feed mixes for us. He has a couple of sows and twice a year or so, he brings us some more little piglets.

Apparently, mixing a litter of piglets from a first time mom with piglets from a non-first time mom, they can get a disease called Greasy Pig.

But at the time, we didn't know this and one by one, the pigs started looking a little off. Not sickly per se, just not healthy. Finally they developed scales on their backs and we discovered, too late, what was wrong.

Jesse does not shirk his duty, able though not happily, to dispose of a litter of pigs if needed. I don't envy him that job but it seems to be part of farming. There was simply no saving those little piglets and the kindest thing to do was put them out of their misery.

We were disappointed and dismayed but lesson learned. We dried off the proverbial tears, got us some more pigs and we're trying again!

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