Saturday, 28 September 2013

Pigs

Ever since we moved we have been working towards getting some pigs, this is the only thing we hadn't been able to practice beforehand.  We have had the fencing done around the pen for some time, we salvaged an old Belfast sink to use as a trough, and a tyre and bucket to use for water. We rescued and renovated an old pig ark  abandoned on the riverbank outside the farm, this saved us a fortune as new ones are over £300. 



We bought electric fencing  so we could section the paddock off so as to rest and rotate the land, then we waited for our pigs , we waited and waited and eventually came to the realisation that our supplier had let us down.  We put out an appeal to smallholding friends and were contacted about some newly born piglets, we went to visit them fell in love and arranged to go back once they were weaned. On Wednesday we made the journey to Grantham to collect them, the loading went without a hitch , and they slept all the way home.  Once home they refused to wake up and get out of the trailer , in the end they had to be persuaded out and duly set about exploring their new home. 


The bred is Oxford Sandy and Black , also known as the plum pudding pig , they are all boys and will stay with us until January. They are such fascinating creatures and as yet have no names, I was going to name them but realised pretty quickly this was a bad idea . They love apples and we have been foraging the hedgerows for wild ones to supplement their diet, all the veg garden waste we can is going to them too along with their pig nuts (anything to reduce the feed bill). They have gotten to know us quickly and have settled into their new routine easily, pig watching has taken over from chicken and duck watching and they love a good tickle behind the ears. I have to say the pigs arriving has made me feel so content and feel like all our dreams have finally come to fruition. We just love our new life and can't wait to build on our first years progress.

14 comments:

  1. They are beauties, hope they soon settle in!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. We were told to expect 50kg of meat per pig we plan to send one mid December as a trial run, it will be a bit smaller but will give us an idea what we are getting and be less daunting than processing 3 all at once

      Delete
  3. What beautiful looking pigs, I have never heard of that breed before, they look like a cross of Tamworth Gloucester Old spot. Will you be making bacon as well as having lots of pork?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! have had a practice at bacon which turned out well just got to have a practice at ham. Sausage recipes all trialled too , some will be in skins others done as burgers for quick cooking from frozen to go in a bun!

      Delete
  4. Oxford Sandy and Blacks are a wonderful old breed, you have some lovely examples there. Their colouring is wonderful. I am really missing having pigs, not long to go now before we can start with them again. Have a go at training them, they can learn basic words, just like a dog very quickly it's amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they have already figured outme shouting "pig pig pig" from down the path means dinners coming and they all gather around the trough!

      Delete
  5. Hah! Found you again :). Knew you were somewhere my lovely, but I lost you when apple updated my iPad :(

    These look gorgeous Shaz! So pleased you've got them to add to your small holding.

    Happy weekend dear lady.
    Rw

    ReplyDelete
  6. What beautiful pigs. They are so exciting to watch, particularly when small.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pig watching has replaced chicken watching :)

      Delete
  7. Pigs are lovely creatures to have around the place once you get to know them. To help with the feed bill we scythe grass for ours every morning, so they get a good natural feed, and I get a good workout because I am the one who scythes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, that's interesting to know they seem to love the couch grass roots , which is lucky as we have lots of those :)








































































      Delete