Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pigs.....who would have em!!.......well we now have 3 and I am confined to the house on crutches.....connection? You bet!
I have had many pigs over the years starting with a Tamworth piglet called Mabel who was given to me by a farmer for whom I used to milk record his lovely Guernsey cows. She was a pedigree pig from the Roseleaf line and grew to be huge..........but very gentle and never tried to escape AND being 21 years ago we didn't have a battery electric fencer unit as they were only just becoming affordable (and reliable!) She could have destroyed the fencing but never bothered! She was mated to a local tamworth boar and had 10 piglets and was a realy good mum bless her. After being a pet for a while as she wouldn't breed again, she went to join a farm producing iron age pigs as we felt she was a bit lonely.

After that I had various pigs including lops, large white cross, large blacks, berkshires and many heinz 57s!! all for pork or bacon........none were a lot of trouble except a pot bellied pig I was given who was quickly passed on!

So when last year I was persuaded that on our wet ground KuneKunes would be ideal I bought 2.........who are very good on the whole although the gilt can jump and both are very noisy!
So I decided that I would get another and on Tuesday Treacle a 2 year old in pig sow arrived with a reputation for good behaviour.
It had beed terrible weather on Monday so I had been unable to get to sort the electric fencing so I riged up a suitable pen in the shed next to the sheeps current overnight quarters. This pen had contained 2 Berkshire gilts 2 winters ago with no trouble.
So when I found her walking around the sheep field the following morning I was astounded....she had jumped over a breeze block wall 5 blocks high topped with corrugated !! (the corrugated was a bit worse for wear!!)
Contained once more, this time in the sheep shed I set about the electric fencing job, moving Kermit and Miss Piggy, our current Kunes into the far pig paddock. Treacle was wailing her annoyance so to relieve my ears I let her out while I was completing the fence.....I thought she would go and talk to the other pigs through the fence or just snuffle around bearing in mind each pig paddock is quarter of an acre..........not a bit of it she put her snout under the stock wire and heaved it up as if it were made of string!!..........and shot off towards the woods. I grabbed a bucket of nuts and persuaded her back to the sheep shed where she was locked in again whilst I went back into the ankle deep mud, repaired the damage and finished the electrics! Pig was then let back out and immediatly knew the fence was 'on' but had to test it a few times!!
Well I then made the daft decision to stand on the low wall at the end of the yard to observe said I hauled myself up I felt a fact it was almost audible and I knew I had done some serious damage. I had left my mobile phone in the kitchen and at that moment the kitchen seemed a long way away. Somehow I managed to hobble, hop and crawl back to the house and after a visit to casualty am the proud posessor of a pair of crutches and an appointment in the post for the knee clinic!
This morning Pete had to feed and check the stock and the little darling had removed the metal field gate! This is currently being repaired as I type!
The pics are of a typical Tamworth sow and a Kune Kune sow which will show that contrary to popular belief that Kunes are large not small.........a Tamworth is about 25 inches high!


Anonymous said...

poor you - hope you heal soon

julia said...

As a stray visitor I liked reading about your doings. Noticed the interest by a farmer here in raising breeds of sheep and pigs etc that are almost endangered species now and he offers tours of his farm to show the animals and inform the visitors. or what about those who offer sponsorship of a sheep to city folk who can follow its life and manage it to some extent at arms length. Sorry if you have heard it all before. I'm hoping to start permaculture - have the land but short of the energy!