Monday, February 7, 2011

Off to the Races

The Boar has the Tiniest Nipples

Step up and try your hand at the latest and greatest game here at TBA farms:
Who's gonna pop when?!?
What all's in there?!?

Little red

These are the questions Johnson and I have been asking ourselves and each other for the past month. We have three sows, Little Red, Scar, and Spot Belly (we didn't set out to name them, but when you only have 3 it just happens.) All three are supposed to be pregnant, they've been in with the boar for over three months now and we've seen signs of action to say the least, although we've never walked in on them. We had initially planned to put them in together 12/1/10, but The Boar had different plans and made the decision for us 11/3/10, leaving a tell-tale stain on Scar's hind parts. We did the math and decided it wasn't the end of the world, by the time they'd farrow it'd be warm enough to avoid catastrophe.

Little Red's nipples

Most pig farms keep each sow in it's own little confinement pen and when they want her "serviced" they'll facilitate some face time with a boar. They'll watch and maybe help, and make sure they go at it at least 2 times in 24 hours, and of course record the date. We didn't do any of that.

Scar

Here's what we do know, though. A pig goes into heat every 21 days. A pig's gestation period is 114 days on average. If the boar was lucky enough to catch one in heat his first day out, and that gilt came to term 5 days early we'd have piglets on 2/21/11. If the boar missed the heat cycle by a day and the gilt came to term 5 days late, we'd have piglets on 3/24/10. That gives us a 31 day window to work with.

Scar's Nipples

We're not dealing with a pig in a poke either, we can get up close and look at these girls. At this point Johnson and I agree that Spot Belly is the furthest along, Scar is second and Little Red is holding up the rear, but who really knows? We can also inspect their teats, a pig supposedly "bags up" 7-10 days prior to farrowing. You can see in the pictures that their nipples are becoming much more 3 dimensional, although I don't think anybody's bagged up yet.

Spot Belly

The even wilder card is how many piglets we're going to get. Spot Belly is totally gigantic right now, but I don't have much experience to go on. Are their 16 in there? or just 1 gigantic piglet? Little red doesn't look that big, but she's not a huge pig either, so maybe she'll have a whole pile of svelte little piglets. Gilts (lady pigs who have never had piglets) are known to give smaller litters, and the USDA average litter is ~10 piglets.

Spot Belly's Nipples

Now you know everything we know. Dare to put your money where your mouth is? You guess the answer to any or all of 6 questions and if you're right, you win!! I'll keep track of who's betting on this spreadsheet(updated daily), and each of the six pots will be split among those who guessed correctly, proportional to the amount of their bet. If you choose to spend your winnings on TBA farms products we'll give you a 25% bonus. How do we raise money with this gimmick? Well, we're definitely going to bet right along with you, but we're also going to take a cut of the total before we divy it up among the winners. You're welcome to bet up to the date that each pig farrows, so even if you pick and your day flies by you can hedge later on.

In order to place your bets, just fill out the form below. You don't have to put something in every field, but I'd suggest diversifying. You can send us the funds one of two ways: click on the "donate" button in our sidebar and pay with a credit card or Paypal account, or mail us a check, our address can also be found in the sidebar. Either way, fill out the form below as it'll just be easier for me. If I don't receive payment within 10 days of bet placement I will cancel your bet. Be sure to keep tabs on the spreadsheet to see the group's opinions. If any of the pigs fail to pop within the allotted time frame all related bets will be canceled.
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