Those of you who read JennieWorld Today will no doubt have already had a good chortle over your cornflakes this morning.
If you don’t, head over there now and see what Tia and Scrumpy got to yesterday while I was driving B to her parents’ house for a long weekend…
Right, now that you’ve stopped laughing, picked yourselves up off the floor and dusted yourselves off, here’s how things looked in the cold light of day.
Following Jennie’s evening phone call letting me know what had happened, and a long drive back to south Wales, I had a rather sleepless night – not helped by one of the cats who spent a good proportion of my duvet time trying to wake me up. He (don’t know which one, lucky cat) batted my nose til I opened my eyes and then, when I had the cheek to close them again, jabbed the tip of my nose with his claws – and then couldn’t work out why said eyes had such a murderous glint to them when they reopened… The little shit then retreated and did the same thing to my toes. He was, unsurprisingly, booted off the bed!
Hmm, where was I? Oh yes, the other cause for my sleepless night was the dream I was having before the cat got bored. According to my imagination, the spillage was just one sack and the mountain of sprouts was just one or two that the birds had eaten before my arrival, leaving me with very little clean up work.
Of course, as my body settled back down to go to sleep, my brain woke up and started worrying. Once I’d convinced it that the clean up really wouldn’t take that long, it started mulling over the reasons Tia and Scrumpy got out in the first place (I knew they would do something but didn’t put the electric fence on, reasoning that with one flat battery, the two working ones were better off with the chickens not the pigs… ha!) and what I will do with them over the next couple of months. The problem is quite simple: I’ve run out of dry ground. There is one other patch they could go on but it’s got some rather sodden patches that I’d rather use later in spring so it doesn’t get ruined. Neither their existing patch nor the proposed new site have got anything worth eating, but at least the other site would be fresh ground for them. What to do?
(Now that it’s daylight, the answer is obvious – but Jennie won’t like it one little bit… :D)
I arrived this morning feeling somewhat befuddled and sleepy but ready to take whatever the pigs could throw at me. Having seen Jennie’s photos on her blog, I was expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised by the reality:
I think they only emptied three, maybe four sacks. Annoyingly, they ripped two of them wide open so they’ll have to be cleaned and used as something else. The worst damage is to the path so I had to use the cardboard I was saving for the lasagne garden to repair the damage.
Unfortunately, the sacks were filled with things that pigs shouldn’t eat, such as oranges, parsnips, pineapples and tomatoes. That did not, however, seem to stop them as I discovered numerous scraps of orange peel dotted around. They were, however, chirpy and excited about breakfast so I doubt they’ll come to any harm.
All in all, it only took about half an hour to clear up, mainly because Jennie and her man did the bulk of it yesterday. But it’s more or less back to normal now:
They certainly had fun in the field and dug plenty of holes to keep me busy the next time the mud dries out:
But it could have been very much worse. There’s one patch of grass that I am saving for the next litter of piglets, whenever that will be and I don’t care how much rain we have, only piglets (and their mama!) will be housed on it.
Of course, it’s not actually fenced off so Tia and Scrumpy enjoyed some of its grassy goodness during their fun time. But – crucially – they didn’t leave any of their trademark pits, only a slight amount of turfing that, as you can see in the second photo, was easily remedied using my foot:
Mind you, I found out this week that one of the sows (Brini’s sister) I sold to a friend of mum’s has also been exploring beyond her boundaries. The other morning, he overslept and woke to discover the sow and her piglets at his door, demanding their grub. He quickly got dressed and using the tried-and-tested method of a bucket, walked them calmly back to their field. Until, that is, he got to his vegetable garden. Well, more precisely, the remains of it… He’s an adept gardener and had been nursing several winter vegetables through the worst of the weather, doing such a good job that they even survived the frosts. But not the pigs. What they didn’t eat, they’d demolished and trodden into the mud. So, you see, it could have been so much worse!