I just went down to the humane society and brought the pregnant piggie home. Her name in the shelter was "Tater tot", but I've renamed her Sylvie. Right now she's cowering under a towel, very scared.
Sylvie will stay at my house for a few days until she can truck on down to CavyHouse, where Sue has kindly offered to take her in and look after the pregnancy and delivery. I'll work on getting some pictures after she's calmed down a touch. Poor thing.
Of course, there are still two more in the shelter, but I'll keep watching them to see if they bloom into pregnancy. I hope not.
The two sows who remain in the shelter are still pretty freaked out, but are beginning to learn that peppers are awfully nice. The smallest is still really small (I have to remember to weigh her next week), and the tricolor is doing well. The smallest, Gopher, is a little more friendly -- still lots of panicked zoomies when the hand visits, but she will chortle and chuckle while eating lettuces during lap time. The tricolor, Red, has gone back to freezing whenever handled or even looked at ever since Sylvie left.
Two days ago I felt a baby in Red. Darnnit.
We're trying to decide whether it's better to move the two girls out of the kennel office to a quieter spot in the back or to leave them where they are with perhaps a light blanket over most of the cage. They do nothing but hide. I'm hoping that if the whole cage is covered (with ventilation obviously), then they'd be more likely to explore during the day and perhaps be enticed by treats.
On the other hand, if they go to the back, they'd be less startled by people walking by their cage all the time. But hen no one would be socializing them at all. I think it would fall to me to be sure to visit them every day though to keep up the socialization. Although, realistically, maybe I'm the only one doing it as it is.
Back and forth.
In the mean time, one of my girls is due for a butt bath, but it's been damp in the house from fog/rain, so I've been putting it off. Maybe it is just easier to foster the two girls from the shelter rather than trying to visit them. But I'm not sure I can deal with fostering over holidays either. Gah.
Anyone feel like solving this for me? I could do with a genie with three wishes burning a hole in his pocket right about now.
- We miss our sweet Oreo
The extra work hasn't been that bad - it can't be as bad as running back and forth between two locations. The expense of doubling my veggie suppy has been the killer. But, for 2?
I have to think the pigs would be better off with you, if you're goal is to calm them down. They'd get more familiar with household rhythms and people being around. And you could socialize when it was convenient for you, without planning days around going to and fro. I'm all for avoiding driving these days, although with gas prices coming down, here, it's not as bad. But I'm lazy that way. If I don't need to leave the house, I'd just as soon not. If I feel like snuggling a pig, now, all I need to do , is look across this room, or into my son's room, or into my daughter's room, or into the kitchen, or into the hall. Hah.
Seriously, there are so many pros to having them with you, even thru the holidays. (Think of how difficult it's going to be to go visit them thru the holidays.)
I've decided that I'm going to go ahead and foster "Red", who's pregnant along with her cage mate "Gopher", who's much smaller and younger and hopefully not pregnant. I first felt a round lump in Red's abdomen on Nov 7. One of the shelter employees who used to be a vet tech says she can feel one more baby on the other side, but I can't. I have to weigh her again, but Gopher was only barely 14 oz.
So. Question. Is a 2 x 4 enough room for fostering two females, one of whom is pregnant? I don't think I can build a larger size easily. (Who said this would be easy?)
- For Pigs' Sake
Is it accurate to say that once you feel movement the birth is about two weeks away? I remember reading that once, and now I can't remember on what thread it was. Searching is giving me so many results I've thrown my hands up.
Pictures tomorrow when they're not so freaked out.
But "Red" is suddenly enormous. I'll weigh her, although it won't do a heck as they weren't getting weighed at the shelter, so I can't track her weight gain. But she suddenly went wide. Yipes.
I'll have both "Red" and "Gopher" here through Thanksgiving and until "Red" gives birth. (Names are in quotes as my eldest daughter is strenuously objecting to their given names. We'll see what happens.) Then they trot back to the shelter after weaning.
Red and Gopher together. In this one you can see how lopsided Red's belly is.
Red's face with Gopher hiding behind.
Red from above.
Very hard to get pictures of Gopher. She's much more likely to run away whereas Red still freezes.
Two mostly black males with white stripes on their faces. The larger one may be a female and is quite active. The smaller one who looks more obviously male was cuddling up next to Gopher and is a little weaker. I put a fresh fleece scrap in the preferred corner and tucked the babies back in.
Pictures tomorrow when everyone settles in.
"The dark lumps you see next to me are babies. Or so I've been told."
(Poor Red. She only either looks harassed or scared. My daughter took the little ones to get some pictures. We've not been terribly creative yet with names. The larger one we're calling "Baby" and the smaller one is "Teeny". This serves to remind us that we must get names for them ASAP.)
Baby is bigger, has more white, a splash of red, and may be a female. S/he has been hard to sex -- if I can get pictures I'll ask for some advice.)
Baby from the back:
And some of Teeny:
(I can't figure out why the two of Baby are so big. I've got them cropped in photobucket. I closed and restarted firefox to dump my cache, and still those two are turning up here as the non-cropped huge versions. Very Odd.)
I discovered today that Degas, the one with the orange ear has the sniffles. So it's off to the vet with him/her in the morning. I can only go to a shelter approved vet, so I've printed out the dangerous antibiotics page and the URI page from the medical guide. I'm somewhat taken aback that s/he got this. None of mine are sick, and these are in quarantine. I spent the afternoon looking for drafts in my daughter's bedroom and draping a light blanket over a good part of the cage. Maybe Red has been harboring a URI and gave it to her baby?
We'll see what the vet says in the morning.