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Charlotte has blessed us with a third litter of piglets! Walter and her make THE cutest babies! Here are a few pictures from the last few days.

It is getting easier to know when labor is close as she gets very grumpy towards the dogs. Plus Ellie checked her that morning before school and she had milk so we figured we would come home to surprise. Charlotte gave birth to 10 live piglets. They are a variety of colors!

We got all of the processing taken care of this weekend. Ellie was laughing saying I’m the pig vet and Rob is the cattle vet. In full disclosure I worked at a hog farm my senior year and in college, part of my job was processing baby pigs. “Processing” includes cutting their teeth, giving a dose of iron and (typically) cutting tails. I say typically because we chose not to this time. I also castrated the male pigs at the same time so that we didn’t have to separate them from their momma again. She doesn’t like that very much and neither do they!

Cutting teeth

What questions do you have for me about Our pigs? I would be happy to answer them!

From the gravel road,


We could not let National Pig Day go by without writing about our favorite pig, Charlotte!

Charlotte has quite the story of arriving at our farm. My dad actually found her running down the road near their house. My girls instantly snatched her up and took her in as one of their own.

For the longest time Charlotte thought she was a dog, as she had free range of our yard and followed the dogs and kids around. She pretty much went wherever Ellie went. She even went on our nightly walks with us!

At the time our yard was dug up because we were prepping for a patio. People would drive in and look at us like we were crazy because we had a pig wandering around. Charlotte even got to meet people from all over the world when we took her to see Ragbrai on the corner near our home!

As she got bigger and our patio got finished we quickly began to realize that she was no longer going to be able to have free range of the farm. She was quite the "cultivator." 🙂 So... we made her a nice pen outside where she could play in the mud and get under shelter so she was out of the elements.

Fast forward to Charlotte getting a little older and we found "Walter" and Charlotte and Walter got married (according to Ellie.) When she had her first litter of piglets she was pretty grumpy (can you blame her) she had never been through labor and had no idea why she was hurting. It was a little hard for the girls to understand because typically you pat her back and she flops over and lays so you can scratch her belly. First time mom stuff-she didn't want anyone near her or her babies. I am pretty sure she probably would have put signs on her pen that asked everyone that entered to wash their hands to prevent spreading illness to her babies or if she were like me when I was a first time mom keep the kid covered up in the grocery store and pretend like shes sleeping so no one tries to touch the baby. Yep, she was pretty crazy with that first litter.

She was much calmer with her second litter of piglets and wasn't nearly as grumpy. You know like the second child thing; first one you are unsure of how things will go, you don't really want anyone in the room to see what's going on, by the second you are like sure those 7 student doctors can come in and check things out as long as they bring ice chips and smile. That was pretty much Charlotte on this second go round.

Now that her piglets have been weaned she is back living with her roommate, Walter. So... in about 4 months we should have piglets again. Actually, the gestation period for a pig is 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. Now you can't say you have never learned anything from my blog. 😉 I am sure by this round of piglets, Charlotte will be ok with us being around and I am positive she won't have many pictures or even have a little piggy book for this third litter, and she would probably be glad for us to take all of them for a sleep over so she could get a full nights sleep, you know the third child thing.

Do you have any fun pig stories? Are you celebrating National Pig Day? Ever found an animal and took it in to give it a home?

Happy National Pig Day from the Gravel Road-


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