Sunday, 26 July 2009

Moving the pigs

The piglets are ten days old, and it's time to ear notch and turn the new pig family out into the big wide world. Well, into a large paddock with a spacious warm ark made tufty with straw.
Mum is encouraged into the stock box with a scoop of food, the door is shut and the piglets are gently contained in the barn. Each one is picked up and examined. Right number of evenly spaced teats (14)? Good shaped and sturdy body? Well marked for the breed? Properly formed mouth? All pass muster and there are a couple of exceptional ones. As each has their unique number notched into their ear I take them in my arms and cradle them. They sit in my embrace, snug, content, not struggling or squealing. I feel the most overwhelming sense of pride and pleasure. They have hot, strong little bodies and have quadrupled in size since birth. They are calm and happy. The sow is grunting softly, and one by one I put each piglet into the box with her, a separating hurdle between them so she doesn't trample on them as they are transported. In the paddock we pick up each piglet and put it into the back of the ark, deep in straw. The box is opened and Aunt Agatha sways out, looks about and then goes into the ark too. Text book.

12 comments:

mountainear said...

Nicely done. They are the most excellent creatures, are they not?

Memories of Alice's Duchess come back to me. Did she have a pig for baby? Remind me someone?

mrsnesbitt said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Nice stripey jacket you were wearing! Is it standard HMP issue?

Mopsa said...

M'ear - the baby turned into a pig whilst Alice watched...

Mrs N...very very ahhhhh

YP - I worked it out, that jacket, filthy, vile, no longer waterproof, is over 25 years old. It came from a country clothing store though, not from an ex-inmate.

Winchester whisperer said...

I hope you'll keep a couple of them?

Sara said...

I'm so envious! I do love pigs. We need a little bit more land before we can keep any, so thanks for the descriptive blog - it was like having a virtual hug with a piglet!

Mopsa said...

WW - As hard as it is, probably not, but one looks as if it will go to a posh home as a breeding boar....

Sara - a piglet doesn't take up much room....a full grown pig on the other hand is a different prospect!

Winchester whisperer said...

Does a posh breeding boar go to boarding school?

Flowerpot said...

They are gorgeous! And look sch characters...

locksparkfarm said...

They have GROWN!BIG!
And...I spy a ringlet of hair...competing with mr. sexy bat are we now?

Stonehead said...

One of ours, Dapne, had her first litter a couple of weeks back. She was a bit nervous and protective of her piglets at first, but she's now realised that they're quite safe when I check them every few days. In fact, she now noses them into a corner of the pen so I can catch and inspect them.

Unfortunatey, the boar piglet with the best build and attitude is also very, very badly marked with a head that looks like a badger. He's one of those standout animals with real panache and swagger—the sort that if properly marked would have a good chance in the show ring. As it is, he'll be pork chops in 24 weeks instead, and appreciated all the more.

Mopsa said...

It's a hard call Stoney! To mucnh or sell as breeding stock - this litter will probably be split into both...but showing isn't for me.