Henrietta, the sow at our neighboring farm, graced us with twelve baby pig-igs in the middle of the night on October 27th. Or so we thought...
Dad, Rae, and I traipsed across the pasture that next morning ready to see the babies and 'Oooh' and 'Awww' over them all. When we got there, all the little ones were curled up with their mama, either sleeping in a piggy pile or maniacally trying to find a spot to nurse. Rae had the camera so she snapped a bunch of pictures and Dad grabbed a heat lamp to warm the nest.
All of a sudden from where I'm standing on the edges, we hear little baby pig noises. I look down and right by my foot is a piglet! He was five feet away from Henrietta and had probably been there for quite a while, unable to find his way back to his brothers and sisters. He was freezing cold. Dad picked him up and tucked him in his coat.
Dad had to go milk so the babe was handed over to me, and I put him in my coat and sat down by the heater. But that wasn't getting him warm fast enough. So, in true Zoe form, I put him under my shirt, up against my belly. He was absolutely freezing, and I was not very optimistic about him coming through. Sometimes life is like that.
But then Dad came in with an O'Douls bottle, the only bottle he could find that would fit the nipple we had. He filled it with hot water and gave it to me to hold against the little pig-ig. That's when things started to really turn around for the better. Dad went back out to finish milking. He came back in a bit later and we dumped the water out of the bottle and put some warm milk in. Rae had a heck of a time trying to get milk out of the nipple into the little guy's mouth.
We stayed by the heater with the baby's head peeking out from under my shirt and Rae trying to get him to eat for probably an hour. And he kept getting warmer and warmer, until finally it was my belly that was cold and the piglet that was warm. We took a break from feeding him and let him rest for a bit.
A while later he woke back up and started moving around. He started to suck on my finger, so we took him back out to Henrietta. He settled right in to try and nurse. We watched him for a bit, and he held his own against his bigger siblings.
We named him Fonzie, because as Dad said 'Fonzie's cool'. Bad humor! The little guy went from not going to make it, to enthusiastically trying to nurse and squirming around with his brothers and sisters. Sometimes life is like that.