Pushing a 450 lbs sow in labor up a hill in the North Carolina woods was something I NEVER envisioned myself doing… well – EVER! And for those of you that don’t know what a “sow” is: it’s a damn pig. A female pig that has birthed at least one litter of piglets.
Pushing one while she’s in labor is no picnic, & I am sure she would vote for me to be Employee of the Month at Old Mill Acres Farm. She & I were not liking one another very much this afternoon. It had to be done, though.
Tara noticed she was missing when it was time to feed. If ever there is a time to worry about a pig, it’s when they are absent during mealtime. Hell, if anything – even so much as a sound – is an indicator it’s time to be at the feeding troff, all the screams & squeals & shoving begins. All the LIFE within a pig comes out at that time, so they can have their space – their taste – at the food.
It did not take long to find Red, laying on her side in the woods. And, yes, the damn pig’s name is Red. As in Red Wattle, the breed.
There was some other medical condition besides being in labor that needed attending to. But I’m not going to write about it. Don’t ask why. Sometimes, the reader should just trust the writer’s better judgment. We needed to get her out of the woods. Now I have been told you can not make a pig move if it does not want to. I have been told that about several species, including certain humans. ANYTHING will move for you, if you have the talent of desperation!
And, this afternoon, I was REALLY desperate! Desperate to get RED into a damn enclosed structure. Somewhere that not only would be warmer for the upcoming litter – but warmer for ME & TARA! I was thinking this could be a long, long, very long night, and I would rather spend it in a building with pine shavings for a floor, and some light. If we were to stay in the woods, flashlights would be the only illuminations available. On my knees on a cold & wet, red-muck forest floor was not just an unappealing way to spend a Friday night, it is an insult to ANY possible medical procedure we might have to go through.
(Who am I kidding? Pigs do/have been pushing their existence into this world in such a way for thousands of years. Red will probably do alright, let’s hope. ME, on the other hand, well… let’s just say I know where I stand in the Food Chain. Let’s Continue.)
The possibility of me having to slice the poor beasty’s belly open is VERY real. And I would at least like to see where I’ll be cutting. And HOW I should be cutting. Never before – never, never, ever, never – had I imagined I’d be performing a cesarean section on ANYTHING – EVER!
But, what the hell?
It’s a better job than the one Tara will have to overcome if the delivery has complications, and Red still being capable of surviving the delivery. That’s right! Tara is going to have to reach up inside and pull the little bacon-bastards out.
It’s 10:17 PM.
I’ll wake Tara up in an hour. It will be time to make our round-up to the shack. That will be the time Tara makes up her mind.
Do we slice, or pull?
Funny thing: when asked what I wanted for dinner tonight, I said pork chops.
I got two hot dogs instead.