Friday, November 22, 2013

Big day. HUGE!

I couldn't have asked for a better day.  It was a warm, pretty day and it ended just as well as it started.  I'll try to keep this short even though there's so much I want to say about it.  Maybe pictures will tell the story.

I got a halter on Raisa, which was something to celebrate, but then she also let me hook her up to my milking machine which sent me over the top.  I couldn't wait to show James that I did it.  I felt like a child at show-n-tell.  It wasn't all that simple but we made huge strides today and I hope tomorrow will be even better.  I didn't actually milk her on the stand but I was encouraged that she actually ate her grain up there.  I think the difference was that I cut a window in her wall so she could look out.

Yesterday I laid in her yard with her for about hour.  She let me rest my head on her neck and put my face next to hers so I could take pictures of us.  Every time I took a picture I'd show it to her.  She actually looked at the it but she may have just been looking at my phone and not seeing a picture. 
I see a resemblance in our big nostrils.  It was very relaxing lying next to her.  My donkeys won't let me do that.  They jump up whenever I sit down next to them.

Now if you don't think that's exciting then how 'bout this?  Today we artificially inseminated Roxie and it went without a hitch.  I'm not sure she even knew we were doing it. 

Here's all we needed.

That long, catheter-like thing with the spiral on the end went all the way in her with maybe 2 inches to spare.  The tube of stuff is lubricating jelly and the container with the red lid is the semen. The Label reads Speed Dial.   Poor Roxie, never even got to meet Speed Dial.  Here's a picture of him.  I think he's pretty awesome looking.
He resides in Indiana at Purple Power Boar Stud, LLC.  For anyone considering artificial insemination (for pigs, I mean) I'll tell you what I can.  I ordered the semen 3 days before I knew she'd come into heat.  It was delivered by FedEx the next day.  It sat in my basement in a styrofoam cooler with ice packs until I was ready to use them.  I was told by Purple Power people to wait 24 hours after she showed signs of estrus and then give her the first dose.  Now we're to wait 24 more hours and dose her again.  After that we wait 12 more hours till the next dose.  If she were a gilt (never had piggies before) we would have given her the first dose after the first 12 hours instead of 24.  I'll let you know if it was successful in 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days, give or take.

How much did it cost?  $3.00 for 5 spirettes, $5.00 for the lubricating jelly, $35.00 per dose of semen and $50.00 for shipping.  So, $163.00 total, which is much cheaper than keeping a boar.  Yes, we have a boar but he's only 5 months old and probably 100 lbs to Roxie's 600 lbs so he'd need a step stool to get on board.  In 6 more months he can have his way with her. 

I also spread wheat seed in the pigs' old pasture they had dug up and got lots more things done that were on my to-do list.  Adam called and we talked for 45 minutes to end my day.  Did I say today was a great day?