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First 4H project

Meet Shadow, my daughter’s 4-H pig!! My daughter raised the money herself, by us selling Cinnamon Rolls. She purchased Shadow Dec 2nd, 2017. She loved him and was out there all the time reading to him, petting him, and just loving him. This was the very first year that she could show livestock and she decided on a pig. This love of pigs was brought on by my parents, who owned 2 gilts. Every time she went to Grandma and Grandpa’s, she always wanted to be the one to feed the pigs.

Mr ShadowFast forward 1 month from the purchase of her pig, January 1st, she lost her pig. The causes were unknown and it all happened so quickly. The night before he was fine, full of life and playfulness. Shadow was always more playful than her friend’s pig, whom we currently still have. That morning I went out to check on their water, food, and them; and they both were fine. A couple hours later my husband and I were working on my trailer’s taillights and I could hear one of the pigs breathing. Upon closer examination, I noticed it was Shadow. My first thought was that he just had a cold because it was just through his nostrils and he was still playing around. I called up our 4-H leader, whom we also bought the pig from, and let him know what I was seeing with Shadow and explained that he was acting normal the night before and earlier that morning. The guy was going to come later in the day and check on the pig as well as give him antibiotics. Fast forward a few more hours, I was sitting in my living room, looking out the window and noticed the other pig trying to get Shadow up. I ran out there to check on him and his symptoms had gotten worse. I tried calling the guy back but it kept going to voicemail. Thanks to our Swine group I was able to get a hold of a couple people that know more about it then we do, however, no one could really tell me what could have happened. I asked them to try and get a hold of the leader for me. Within an hour of going back and forth between everyone, he was gone. Finally, I was able to get a hold of him, he and another lady came by and checked him to see if there was anything we could have done or anything we could have missed.

The only things they could think of was poisoning via pigeons or rodents or fireworks. Being that it was New Year’s Eve the day before, people shooting off fireworks whether legal or illegal, one could have come into our backyard and Shadow could have eaten it. They said the sulfur and other things used in fireworks smell good to pigs. If he were to eat it, it would eat him up from the inside out. They had never seen anything like this that could have killed him that quick, without other signs leading up. He had been eating and drinking normal even that morning and all the scenarios they had known about would have been a decline in eating and drinking. My daughter handled the whole thing like a champ.

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