Our brand new IAE Animal Barn saw its first birth last night at 7pm, in the form of a dozen gorgeous Gloucestershire Old Spot piglets.
Dolly XXVII (the 27th!) is an experienced mum and some of her grandpiglets are even coming with us to The Big Feastival later this month. She did a fantastic job delivering all 12 piglets, including her youngest, who decided to come out backwards and has been named ‘Orion’s Belt’ due to the 3-spot formation on his side.
Dolly had a very relaxed birth, with Livestock Manager Mike keeping a careful eye on things, but not needing to assist at all. This is the first birth to have taken place in one of our new Freedom Farrower 360 pens, so the piglets are benefitting from the calming green light and heated floor in their ‘safe zone’ where mum is less likely to accidentally lie on them. Mum and babies are doing very well and already delighting visitors to the Farm Park today.
After an alarming decline in numbers last year, the Old Spots are now classified as ‘At Risk’ on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust Watchlist, so these new arrivals are even more welcome!
We have another 2 pregnant sows both due to farrow in the Animal Barn on 2nd September – Rita the Tamworth and Primrose the Gloucestershire Old Spot. Fingers crossed the births will take place during opening hours next time!
If you’re a big pig fan, you might also like to check out our daily Meet the Farmyard Animals show, currently featuring our lovely Berkshire piglets.