Getting sickly animals is a fact of life at a farm. You can’t keep all of them healthy all the time. But when you develop an attachment to them, it can be quite heart breaking. You try to get them back on their feet, but when there are other circumstances. Take Emma, who arrived at John Chester’s farm underweight. Well, as underweight as pigs get. There was an added wrinkle, though. She was pregnant.
Emma went into labor and piglets started coming out at a ridiculous rate. Remember those clown cars you used to see at the circus where more and more would spill out of the car? That’s what this was like for Chester when he was supervising the deliveries. He anticipated six. 17 of them were born, but only 13 survived. That’s still a much larger percentage than anticipated. The piglets started suckling and that’s when a big problem arose.
Already in a fairly unhealthy state, Emma teetered on the edge of death. She was wiped out because having to nurse 13 pigs several times a day is draining (no pun intended). She had a bad fever and was lethargic. Chester took the piglets away and they got her fever down but her appetite was nonexistent. Desperate for a way to keep her alive, because bottle-feeding 13 piglets was a nonstarter, they put the piglets back with her.
The desperation ploy worked. Emma rallied herself. Her maternal instinct was to stay around for her children and she did. She began eating and even started walking around again. Within days, it was like she had never been sick. The piglets continued to eat and grow and then they were old enough to eat solid food. Emma was not lonely though, a rooster began to keep her company. Perhaps inspired by Emma, Chester and his wife got pregnant. What an ending, huh?
Wasn’t Emma amazing? Those piglets were SO cute, weren’t they? I thought they were. Would you ever have a pig for a pet? I hear they are remarkably friendly. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment below.
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