My cousin Kerry's horse had a filly tonight about 9:30pm. Kerry calls me all excited, it's her first time having a foal. About 10:45 the phone rings again. The baby isn't nursing. No biggie, sometimes it takes a couple hours. I could tell she was concerned so I offered to go over to take a look and help her out. I get there about 11:15. The baby won't nurse and acts as if it has no clue. We wait and wait, nothing. The filly tries to suckle on our fingers and acts hungry but has no clue how to suckle from the mare, or even try.
After awhile we decided to milk the mare and try that. Just try to get enough in the filly so we wouldn't be worrying all night. We milked out the mare a little and tried the bottle. Nope, not happening. In the meantime we hear a little pig squealing on the other side of the barn. What the heck? The sow wasn't due until next week!! So, over we go to the pigs' pen and baby pigs are squirting out left and right. I have no clue about pigs. I've raised them after they're old enough to leave their mom but never actually been involved in pigs giving birth. I've been around cows, sheep, goats, dogs, and horses giving birth, but not pigs!
I do know you have to separate the sow and piglets after they nurse so the mom doesn't squish them, but the rest, I have no clue! Something else I learned tonight is that the needle teeth on the piglets have to be clipped as soon as possible. Well, as soon as we started picking up the piglets one started squealing and then they all started squealing. I thought they would quiet down after a minute, but oh no! And when piglets are scared they tend to poop...well, my good coat was covered in poop!
Somehow my real quick trip to check on the filly turned into a 3 hour ordeal that ended with me covered in pig poop.
Note to self, keep my barn coat in my truck at all times just in case!
Oh my gosh those little pigs are so darn cute!
I wanted to swipe one of them but changed my mind after all the squealing and coat pooping!
During the whole pig delivery fiasco the filly starts to figure out where to go to get milk, so I feel a little better. She was about 4 hours old by the time I left and I would hope that she figures it out soon! My cousin is going to spend the night in the barn to make sure. On a bad note, I think the foal is a lethal white. She does have some faint brown markings on one ear and a little on her back so it's hard to tell. Lethal whites can still have a little bit of color, yet all the problems.
We should know within the next 24 hours if the foal is a true lethal white or just a white horse.