Monday, August 5, 2013

Arabella x Amadeus litter born 2nd August 2013

This is 'Sirocco Arabella' (shown above) and 'Sirocco Amadeus' (shown below). This was Arabella's first litter this year and Amadeus's first litter ever!

Arabella gained over 500g with this pregnancy (this is roughly equivalent to a human gaining about 30kg). So we knew we were in for a large litter. Mid friday afternoon I noticed some activity - and found 4 recently born babies. One was already dead, despite our best efforts to revive her.
Arabella continued to contract, but nothing happened. I gave her belly a quick feel and there was definitely a large lump still left inside. It did not appear to be positioned well. We massaged gently between contractions to try and encourage the bub to line up with the pelvis - but 2hrs passed and we were no closer.

Another inspection of Arabella showed a little paw sticking out of her opening. My first thought was 'oh no, it's breach'. But then I realised it was a front paw... not the rear feet. Bub was actually transverse (sideways).

This was a little more serious. I ended up having to insert a finger inside of Arabella to locate the babies head and spin him around so that he could be delivered (this is actually a lot trickier than you might imagine). Arabella was so compliant throughout the whole horrible ordeal. I think she was just so exhausted by this stage that she knew I was trying to help and just gave in to what ever assistance I could give.

As soon as the head was down the baby was born with only one more push and came out in a gush of blood. His placenta had come away from the uterus sometime in the 2hrs Arabella's body had tried in vain to expell him, so he was already dead.

Arabella then continued to contract a few more times and delivered the last placentas and what appeared to be a partially grown fetus. All up, (if you include the fetus), she delivered 6 babies. A rediculously large litter for a texel, who usually only do 4 as a maximum.

Arabella's surviving three babies are small, but still holding on. Often after traumatic deliveries mumma-pigs can be a bit funny with their babies, or they may retain birth matter and can develop infections. Arabella is not out of the woods yet, and neither are her bubs. But we have high hopes for them and are watching them all very closely.

(two sows - Eternity and Evensong, and one boar - Everhart)

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