|Fennel & Mustard arrived|
‘Fennel’ who having fulfilled his role as company for the second pig until our new girl arrived. Fulfilled his other intended purpose and is currently stocking the freezer.
|Fennel ready for the coldroom|
Personally we don’t castrate our own pigs for our own consumption. However we have learned that there is often requests for this locally. As there is a general belief in ‘bore taint’. We have never experienced this, however most of our porkers do not reach ‘working’ age. But I guess this will be an experient for us. If anything it seems to have set him back in size, by comparison to those we have kept from our own litters.
Anyway, back in December we decided we wanted a second breeding sow. So began making enquiries to source a piglet from another bloodline. I guess eventually Smokey and Sage for that matter, will retire, so it would be good if we could keep a bore from our thier stock that would not be related to this sow.
|Last litter at Maes-y-Delyn|
So we found ‘Rosemary’ our new girl, who we picked up from a certified breeder just after new year. And ‘Mustard’, as Berkshire barrow (castrated male) who arrived just before Christmas, along with a company porker; a slightly older male cross,‘Fennel’ (as pigs are social they really shouldn’t be kept alone) from another smallholder.
So now that Rosemary and Mustard are a lot bigger (though Rosemary although supposedly 3 weeks younger, is still a lot bigger), it was about time we introduced them to the ‘big pig pen’. And our big pigs- Smokey and Sage.
Integration has gone reasonably well. We only had one attempted escape; in that Rosemary, being the more adventurous of the two, explored the grass outside their fence along the roadside!
Tip number 1 when introducing livestock to a new environment (especially when there are other animals inhabiting it)- Check your electric fencing is working before hand!
|Rosemary (left) & Mustard (right)|
We have since replaced the section that had burned out; probably due to the chickens going under it and shorting it out on the barb- downside of free range birds, they have no boundaries!
Either way you’d think we should have learned by now and not make such a basic error. Now the fence is working, the little ones have tested it on more than one occasion and seem to be learning to respect it.
|All 4 together|
Generally they all seem to be getting along. As I’ve mentioned before they are social animals and will naturally congregate. And the little ones have been spotted snuggling up to the big guys- I’ll try and get a pic… it’s very cute. So watch this space and we will keep you up to date.