I had a "moment" a couple weeks ago, a moment where I was shaking my head and wondering what the hell I was doing. Probably happens to everyone, and everyone probably imagines like I did that "stuff" (for lack of a more appropriate word) only happens to them. Reader discretion is advised as I am about to graphically describe some events here on the farm that might impact one's appetite and imagination.
We had a really awesome lambing season. We did not get as many twins as we would have liked... in fact we are about 5 lambs short of our estimates. That is significant and will cause us to seek out more "feeders" to get the numbers we need to meet demand (and in all honesty we will still fall a bit short... if you want a lamb you better let us know quick!). But the lack of twins this year was far out weighed by the health and vigor of the lambs and the good condition of the ewes. Births were normal, milk was flowing, nobody needs to be culled, and we did not loose one lamb. Feeling great about that.
So we get to the end of our lambing season and we are exhausted but feel great. Exhausted because part of the lambing routine is a 1 or 2 am trip to the barn each night to make sure nobody is in trouble. We are excited to have that come to an end and are excited about putting the worry away for a while. In fact, nothing on the horizon for about a month except daily feeding and watering, observations and general farm upkeep. Starting to wonder about the warnings at the beginning of this post? Well your wait is over.
On the day after, literally the next day, after our final lamb birth... I go out in the morning like I always do to feed the pigs. Not one pig comes out to greet me. I can not tell you how unusual this is... The regular scene is that 7 big black pigs start running around, squealing and snorting in anticipation of their morning cereal. My stomach drops. What's wrong? Where are they? ... I edge my way around to see inside their house... they are all in there.... I start to notice the piles of diarrhea around the house entrance. Still nobody is moving. I am holding buckets of grain and nobody is moving.. not even a sniff!
My shock turns to utter disbelief and bewilderment when a couple of the pigs do get up, come out of the house, and start to vomit. Now, I have seen quite a bit in my time as a farmer. However, I have never seen a pig vomit. Not only have I never seen a pig vomit, but I have never seen a pig with diarrhea vomit, nor have I seen 7 pigs all sick at once. Eventually they all got up, came out of the house and let loose from both ends. I was dumbstruck.