Pig Breeding Starts Again

It is the  time of the year when the Paoli Agriculture Department is expecting piglets. This will be the 17th year that the agricultural classes will talk about and observe the breeding and birthing process of pigs. Pigs have been raised by agricultural students in the school for eight years, including this year. Another big step was in 2018 when the barn was built near the greenhouse. Since 2014, forty litters have been born in the greenhouse and the barn. Each litter can have anywhere from seven to fourteen piglets.

This year’s pig talk started right when school started, when the six selected pigs were brought into the barn. However, there are still six pigs off campus at student’s and teacher’s homes. From there, the students learned and talked about the breeding processes, but specifically artificial insemination. Artificial insemination is the process that Paoli students and teachers use because it is the safer option in their opinions. Students helped pick out boars to breed the females based on the flaws of the females. The pigs were bred in late August to early September. The estimated birth date is three month, three weeks, and three days after being bred.

“Picking our baby daddies is more exciting than getting a birthday present, and Baby arrivals are better than Christmas presents,” said Agriculture Science and Business teacher Cory Scott.

The next step after breeding is to sonar, which is done anywhere from thirty to forty-five days after being bred. Then anywhere after sixty days you can have an ultrasound. Once they know they’re pregnant, they wait until the estimated birth date. For the pigs that were bred in late August to early September, they will be born in mid to late December.

The pigs currently in the barn are Buffy, Margo, Naomi, Reba, Rose, and Rosie. Margo belongs to freshman Hannah Woolston, Naomi belongs to freshman Haylie Gilliatt, Reba belongs to senior Carson Little, Rose belongs to freshman Mary Cook, and Rosie belongs to  freshman Lucas Padgett. Buffy belongs to freshman Keely Scott, who has three more pigs off campus involved in the school’s research. Freshman Lucas Carmickle also owns pigs who are looked into by the agriculture students: Sugar, Astrid, and Hella. The first pig to give birth in the barn is Naomi, who is due December 15. However, the students and Scott believe that she isn’t pregnant. The next pig that is due is in the barn is Rosie, who is due for December 20.

“My favorite part is whenever the pigs are finally delivered because all your hard work has something to show for it,” said Little.

If you are interested in looking at the pigs and observing them, you can visit https://sites.google.com/paoli.k12.in.us/paoli-ag-page/home

Story by Carley Higgins

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