On September 10th, 2015, in New Jersey, a 700-pound pig went into labor, nine days early. The labor was very difficult and only five babies were viable at birth. One survived. Here is the story about Chewy, a miracle pig. All the odds were against her survival, but the love and dedicated commitment of Linda and Rebecca (mom and daughter), gave this piglet a chance at life.
PE🐽NY: How did Chewy become so lucky to find you, and vice versa? Rebecca (Chewy’s human mom) holds an Animal Science degree and works on a unique farm that is focused on education. Rebecca was present the day of the birth, and assisted in the labor. Post delivery, Chewy had a lot of fluid in her lungs and Rebecca spent a lot of time clearing them, trying to get her to breathe. Upon arriving to work the next day, Chewy was the only little piglet to survive the night. Since it was a Friday, and Chewy would need round-the-clock care to survive, Rebecca decided to bring her home for the weekend.
PE🐽NY: How did Chewy do? Rebecca brought her home and introduced her to me, her grandmother, and the rest of the family. Rebecca and I took turns feeding Chewy every two hours, the whole weekend. She had a lot of problems drinking from a bottle and had to be tube fed. I kept trying different ways to encourage Chewy to drink, and finally came up with cupping my hand under her mouth and wrapping the bottle with a towel. Chewy seemed to really like this, and took to drinking from the bottle.
PE🐽NY: Did Chewy return to the farm on that following Monday? No. Chewy needed 24 hour care, and we gave it to her, day after day. She was drinking from a bottle now and sleeping under a heat lamp in our kitchen, but her biggest problem was her liquid bowels. They wouldn’t firm up, and it seemed like Chewy was slipping away.
PE🐽NY: What kind of milk were you feeding her? Chewy was drinking fresh, raw goat milk from one of my goats (out of a regular baby bottle). Goat milk is the next best thing for a piglet if their mother’s milk is not available.
PE🐽NY: Was Chewy making progress? She really wasn’t, but we refused to give up on her. We prayed and prayed for the answer, and knew it was divine intervention that brought us the answer.
PE🐽NY: What was it? It occurred to Rebecca and I on the same day that Chewy wasn’t digesting any of the milk she was drinking. Since her immune system wasn’t very strong (we questioned if she even had one at all) we started thinking that the bacteria in the goat milk (that was not pasteurized) was the culprit making her sick. So, we started pasteurizing her milk and it’s been a steady road to success ever since! Chewy’s bowels normalized and she started gaining weight and growing like a weed.
PE🐽NY: How is Chewy doing today? Chewy is almost two months old and twenty-five pounds! She is still on goat milk and slowly being introduced to fruits and veggies. She is starting to forage around outside which is helping to build her immune system. Chewy still likes to suck on my hand and I still love to bottle feed her. Rebecca, on the other hand, wants her to be completely weaned and eat her food like a good little pig.
PE🐽NY: Is Chewy still sleeping in the house? No. We are in the process of acclimatizing her to the barn. She is starting to sleep out there. Chewy has fresh hay, her cozy bed (that she drags around everywhere) and a heat lamp is ALWAYS on. We have been blessed with an exceptionally mild fall and that is really making the acclimation process a lot easier for her (and us). Chewy has a lot of friends out there. We have 2 horses, 5 goats, chickens, dogs and an English lop rabbit.
PE🐽NY: Chewy has the BEST ears and a corkscrew tail! What type of pig is she? Chewy is a four-way crossbreed: Landrace, Yorkshire, Hampshire and Duroc. Her full grown weight will be approximately 700 to 800 pounds.
PE🐽NY: Is Chewy a new permanent member of your animal family? YES! Chewy will definitely be spending the rest of her life with us. I have always had a love for animals (the same goes for my children and husband) of all kinds and my family knows they can bring any animal home for me to care for.
PE🐽NY: Chewy’s story really is a miracle. Do you agree? Oh, most definitely. The normal gestation period for a pig is 114 days, so 9 days premature doesn’t sound like much, but it really is. Most of the growing takes place in the final gestational days and the longer they are in the womb, the greater the rate of survival. The first few weeks were very emotional with Chewy.. we really didn’t think she was going to make it. We prayed and hoped and kept fighting reality with possibility. We think Chewy is finally “out of the woods.”
What a miracle! In fact, multiple miracles took place here. Chewy surviving was a miracle and Chewy being so blessed to have Rebecca and Linda in her life was another one! Love always prevails and this is a true indication of that. All life deserves a chance. I looooooooved sharing this story. It is so very special, and I hope Chewy’s story touches the hearts of others in the beautiful way it has touched ours. Please pray for her continued positive progress! We really believe in the power of prayer. Can’t wait to meet you, Chewy! Follow Chewy’s day to day progress on her Instagram @apignamedchewy or her Facebook page. Love, PE🐽NY