On Friday, Nick went to feed the pigs when he got home from work late and noticed one of the piglets seemed weak. He came in to tell me and I sent him out with a towel to bring it in the house, while I prepared a bottle for it. Natasha decided that she was having none of this and would not let Nick get the piglet. Sadly, the next morning we found its body and Nick had to bury it.
Sunday, we ear notched all of the remaining piglets and sent off their registrations. At this point, they were all putting on weight and running around the pasture with mom, so we thought they were in the clear. Last night, I went again to check on them and found the littlest boy laying in the straw by himself while the others nursed and I knew it was not good. I saw that the poor thing had been accidentally stepped on by Natasha and was critically wounded.
Not being able to bear the thought of having it suffer any longer, I wrapped it in a towel and carried it out. Nick was at work and would not be home for hours, so I had to muster all my courage to try to comfort it and then put it down quickly. This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It's times like this when I wonder if I have the strength to continue on with this whole raising animals thing- because I know if I do, this will not be the last time I will have to be in this type of situation, where doing the hardest thing is the most humane. It was a long and sleepless night.
This morning, I was greeting by a blue sky, sunshine and six little piglets running around the pasture after their mom tussling, rooting in the mud and rolling in the grass. It was the reminder I needed of why it is so important to do what we are doing. In traditional factory farms, these little piglets would be locked in a small crate, with a mother who was unable to even turn around and would likely never see sunshine or walk on grass. So while Mother Nature can be cruel at times, she can also be beautiful.