Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Update

Hey all! Sorry for the delayed blog post - things have been quite busy here. Monday I had to clip two full grown cows, as well as help milk the cows. I also helped with the pigs. Tuesday I helped with AI for the sows(female pigs) and straightened the farm up too. Monday was quite dreadful because of the clipping and the wind; cow hair was irritating my skin all day(it sticks to your clothing) and the wind only helped with further irritation by allowing the hair to get in my eyes and somewhat mouth - yuck! It's also very difficult to get a 1500 lb cow to stand still and endure the clipping. Moreover, they love to kick you, hit you with their tail, squish you, and step on you.
 As for Tuesday, the the pig AI(Artificial Insemination) was very interesting. First, they perform AI on the pigs according to their estrus cycles (deals with their receptivity) and if the AI did not work, they use an actual boar(male pig) for the second try. Most of the day, I spent my time helping a sow with her first litter. The problem is, the sows are not accustomed to having little piglets and so they ... kill them. Not all of course!! Nevertheless, it takes maybe an hour or two for them to finally "come around" to their piglets so that when one happens to travel near the mother's mouth, the mother will not bite it. It was my first birthing experience for any animal and it was pretty cool! ... Tuesday night, Claire's(the eldest daughter) boyfriend was having a get together for his birthday so about 20 people showed up, including friends and family. It was really fun and quite funny as well. I must say, I felt as though I was a celebrity or something along those lines because I was "the American". Many people wanted to talk to me, borrow my dictionary, etc. Overall, it was a very fun experience.
 The little piglets (Les petits porcelets) nursing from their mother(top) and snuggling under the heat lamp(bottom). I would say they're about 1-2 days old<3
video Hopefully this video works!

Today, I milked the cows and did some work in the piggery as well. This included marking pigs and watching for more births. After lunch, I went with Veronique to pick Celine up from school and then do some grocery shopping. I wanted to buy everything in the store, but I refrained. :) Turns out they have a store that literally translates into "a random objects" store... how odd. (Veronique was getting some tools for the piggery). Once we returned home, I helped with the groceries and took a nap. Never have I taken so many naps in my life!(Not counting my infant/toddler days) Well, I think I deserve a bike ride so .. tout a l'heure!

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