I now know two of our sows, struggle with weaning (Gypsy and Wren) and our other two sows, skip away with glee! (Peekaboo and Spirit)
Anyway, leading up to weaning day, was a decision to be made.
We do expect our sows to raise their babies on pasture for eight weeks. We feel that this is their job, and they are basically our employees. That being said, sometimes we do have to look at the bigger picture, and make decisions accordingly. In Wren's case, she was getting pulled down, and was looking a little haggard. Sure, she still had lots of energy to chase me down, (if she saw me with something even resembling a bucket of corn), but she was looking very thin. Her babies look very plump! Being her first litter, a very large first litter, a very large, energetic, healthy litter of nine, we decided it was in her best interest to get her back in shape to not only get ready for a Wisconsin winter, but to get in shape to soon, bring another litter of plump, energetic, healthy piglets into this world. At a little over six weeks old, these babies weighed in at 28-30 pounds each!
Wren is probably 300lbs at the most. If you do the math, she weaned her body weight (in six weeks)! Amazing! With cattle, we expect a cow to wean a calf, half of her body weight, and that cow gets maybe seven months to bring them up to said weight? We love cattle, hope to have them some day, but we are amazed by pigs daily. I can't imagine life without them!
Moral of the story is, she did a damn good job, and we are thrilled and impressed! She won't be going anywhere!