Gertie's Gossip 17 Update - Part 2
Intakes - Miss Gertie
Most days Mam and Aunty Karen don't know what day it is - so we thought we would remind you of some of the intakes we have had over the last few months. Early 2019 saw us fill up quickly, and Nana and Pops arrived with their many generations of family - showing just how quickly a mis-sex situation can get out of paw..... It wasn't that the owners hadn't done the right thing and at one stage even a vet had sexed some of them wrongly.
From these two beautiful piggies the intake ended up at 13 piggies. With a number of them being born in rescue.
What a mix of colours they gave us. One thing that became a common theme all the boars from this intake were pretty dominant.
We were already looking pretty full as we headed towards Easter.
In the spring we saw the intake of two large groups of sows. We had one set abandoned in a garden when their owners just moved out without them. An eagle eyed neighbour spotted them running around and called us. To this day we do not understand why - as they were well cared for guinea pigs.
The other large group came to us after a change of circumstances meant they could no longer kept. These two intakes totalled 14 sows. We had to go about sensible groupings so we could find them homes...
Mam and Karen always feel a weight of responsibility around getting the splits right.... It was especially more difficult where we have no history on the piggies.
Miss Edith was all for doing a cosmopolitan magazine style personality type quiz - and interview style questions to sort out the matches - but I'm pleased to say we ignored her and went for a more practical watching behaviours and interaction approach.
What was interesting was how the dynamics of a large herd changes as you take piggies out of the group. Pigs that once got on suddenly took a dislike to each other and we had this on a couple of occasions where we had to split groupings down further to accommodate characters. This meant hard hats on and building works to accommodate them all. With Miss Edith saying I told you to use a personality quiz.....
We also saw the arrival of some boars - Wogan and Pablo - the bickering boars who arrived with us when their owners were moving and couldn't take them along. We did try to keep the boys as a pair, and increased their space to see if that helped them - but they constantly bickered.... So again we made the tough decision to split them - Miss Edith didn't suggest any quiz this time but did suggest she move in with of them - but just could not decide if she preferred Wogan or Pablo.
Rasa was another lovely addition and had been a lone boar who just needed company... his owners did not want to adopt another boar and so for Rasa's sake he arrived at Gertie's to find a friend. Such a gentle lovely boar he was an instant hit here.
Summer saw us take in 2 pregnant sows from 2 different homes. Mrs Pepperpot (a mis-sex case) and Mary Poppins (who someone saved from gumtree when she was put up for offer and was obviously pregnant) she arrived with two young boars from her previous litter (Felix and Walt).
Between the two pregnant sows we had the joy of 4 baby boars and 1 baby sow.... We had hoped for all girls.... but the odds went against us big time!
Pregnant sows always bring mum and Karen mixed emotions. There is nothing more wonderful that seeing the arrival of new life arrive in the world. On the other paw it is also very stressful when it goes wrong. Mrs Pepperpot certainly fell in the latter category.... and saw Karen turn into the naked midwife.... as she came out the shower and noticed a difficult labour had started on Gertie Cam.... Dashing to help she had no time to worry about dignity and she lost her towel in the grapple to remove the birthing sacks off the babies.In a perfect world the mum would do this - but Mrs Pepperpot was a bit overwhelmed by it all.
Karen's face when Miss Edith told her we had been watching live on Gertie Cam was a picture, to this day she does not know what we did and didn't see in those frantic moments!
Alongside the more dramatic intakes we had others who just needed a space. Theodore arrived having been part of a 3 boar fall out and was living a very lonely life.
Larry Potter was another arrival due to a mis-sex case.
Mathilda and Stormzy the rapping pig arrived, again as part of a mis-sex situation.