Last check before I go to bed. Wiggles is having a rough time. She's making a ton of noise and upsetting Little Dude. She's flipped the food dish over and is just generally unhappy. I gave her some food and then sat down on the floor of the garage with her. She spent a good 20 minutes walking around, talking, using her nose as a little shovel trying to move me around. She's mastered climbing up on my lap to nose the pocket of my hoodie so even though she never stops moving, it was kind of a neat moment.
Eventually, I picked her up and gave her a bit more food and just walked about. She fell asleep in my arms while I looked in on everyone else.
I attempted to set her in with the full group but just as I did, somebody on the bottom of the pile decided they needed to move so everyone fell off and chaos ensued.
So Wiggles and Little Dude spent the night in their separate tiny pen and the Big 5 snuggled right up next to the divider.
More food for Wiggles and Little Dude. The Big 5 couldn't be bothered. They were perfectly comfortable sleeping right where they were.
More food, more shavings. And I start thinking about whether the Big 5 are ready to leave the NICU. They are completely capable of eating when they're hungry and they don't have any physical challenges that require extra attention. And the ultimate goal of every intensive care unit is to get the patients out.
A little while later....
I text Dad and ask if he's got accommodations available. He does of course, so we make plans to bring the Big 5 over when I'm done with work.
More food. And a couple pieces of banana and peach. Even if they don't actually eat it, it's good for them to have something else to explore and play with. Plus, it's kind of fun to watch.
I pushed this feeding a bit longer than usual so I could start getting everything ready to move the Big 5 up to the farm. I took apart the mini pen for Wiggles and Little Dude since I needed the crate door to reassemble the transport crate. Of course I had assistance cutting the zip ties. Little noses needed to know what those scissors were. So they got a few pig kisses...
Otherwise, reassembled the crate and loaded it into the back of the truck* and set about catching the Big 5.
*I'm not very big. Handling a large crate when it's filled with moving little pigs is a bit outside my capabilities. So instead of working harder, I just work smarter.
And then, there were just the two left in the NICU.
Got the Big 5 safely to the farm and backed the truck up to the barn. Han was very curious what I was doing and the babies chatted with him a bit.
Of course there's always reconfiguring that can be done so we divided the pen they were born in so they have more space than they did here, but not a full pen. Not just yet.
There were a few fireworks unloading them as MaryAnn could see them and got very upset while they made all sorts of "we just traveled and it was raining" noises. Dad's words: I don't speak pig well enough, but they seem to be telling her all about how terrible things were.
We ended up putting up a divider to calm both them and her.
Then set about getting them some food. Mum found some fruit and brought us some warm water for milk replacer. We also added in a bit of grain just to see if they were interested. At one point all 5 were in the feed bowl digging around.
It was kind of fun watching them acclimate to a bigger space. The littlest girl is super bossy and was trying to tell off a couple of the big ones. There was lots more room to run and I'm not sure she factored that into her decision.
Otherwise, by the time we had everything situated, the littles were settling into their new digs, everyone else was fed, and I needed to get home to check on the NICU.
Longest I've left the house in almost a week and while Wiggles and Little Dude were happy to see me (because I come with food) they have spent most of the time since I've been here sacked out under their heat lamp.
Truth be told: I'm a little envious.
With just two pigs left in the NICU, I probably won't be posting very many more blogs like this, but I'll be sure to share lots of photos and videos here as all of these guys grow. And while it sucks that I had to intervene and take them away from their mom, it is really an incredible experience to take care of these tiny animals and see them get bigger and stronger.
And, if MaryAnn's belly is any indication, we should have some new ones soon. So please, if the mood strikes: Send out good vibes to Mother Nature that she'll be a great pig mom.