Exciting morning around here…our first litter of piggies born. 9 born between 6am and 10am, all born alive and apparently healthy. These are LB/Berkshire hybrids, with a litter of purebred LBHs due in a week or so.
Question: The piglets were born in groups of three…three piglets, then a small amount of afterbirth (perhaps a half of a cup) then three more piglets, then another half cup of afterbirth, then the last three followed by the rest of the afterbirth. So far, so good…but here’s the gross question:
When I was sure Mom was done I started cleaning up. I removed the large last clump of afterbirth and the second clump, but at this point she was laying on the first portion of discharged afterbirth. I took a break and went in the house for lunch (sorry, but I was hungry. It was 12:30 and I had been in the farrowing pen since 6AM…LOL). When I came back out Mom was eating the remaining afterbirth.
That didn’t gross me out…I know the afterbirth contains a TON of nutrients and that many animals eat their afterbirth for a variety of reasons…but it left me wondering…given the nutrients in it, should I have left it all for Mom to eat, or should I have removed it all and not let her get any of it, or does it really matter…whichever is OK?
That’s kinda what I figured, Al…but I wanted to be sure.
BTW…At 6:30AM this morning, roughly 24 hrs after she birthed the first one, all 9 still appear healthy and Porkchop is being a good mother. “Porkchop” because we started with 3…Our plans were one LBH to breed and two hybrids. her and Hamlet, for the freezer. Well…You know the old saying, “Man plans, God laughs.”. Hamlet is in the freezer…Or what is left of her…and Porkchop is a breeder. So far it looks like a good decision.