Posts Tagged ‘harold’

It’s a good thing I like sausages!

I got Bailey back yesterday: approximately 50kg of sausages (pork and apple, pork and leek and plain gluten-free), 10kg of minced pork and 4 leg joints!

I had originally intended to get just sausages and mince, as older boars, especially those who have been used as working boars, have a very strong flavour which can be unpleasant in a roast, but perfect for sausages and burgers. However, J, who lives at the farm where I keep the pigs, talked me into keeping a leg or two as he reckons you can slow roast them for the perfect flavour. I thought that was nicely volunteered, as did his partner, C. As it turns out, I have run out of freezer space, so the leg joints are now residing in their freezer anyway… Fate, I think!

I have, naturally, sampled the sausages and think they’re delicious. Very delicious. Too delicious. If I start oinking, it’s not because of swine flu!

Thanks, Bailey. You were a good old boy and I promise you won’t go to waste.

Bailey - 4 June 2009

Bailey - 4 June 2009

(Actually, this post reminds me that I never wrote a review of my first taste of Kune Kune meat, when I sent Harold and Scratchy off in March. Must do that!)

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Looking back at (a sunny) July 2008

I seem to have lost my blogging mojo so I thought I’d post some photos from last year, back when the sun was something warm, comforting and familiar, not a distant memory like it has been this July!

Midge - 1 July 2008

Midge - 1 July 2008

Bailey and Queenie - 4 July 2008

Bailey and Queenie - 4 July 2008

Brini - 20 July 2008

Brini - 20 July 2008

Captain Flint and pals - 20 July 2008

Captain Flint and pals - 20 July 2008

Harold and family - 21 July 2008

Harold and family - 21 July 2008

Scrumpy, Tia, Stella and Brusco - 22 July 2008

Scrumpy, Tia, Stella and Brusco - 22 July 2008

Snipe, Midge and Teal - 29 July 2008

Snipe, Midge and Teal - 29 July 2008

The view from Mum's front gate - 29 July 2008

The view from Mum's front gate - 29 July 2008

Maybe August will see the sun return – and with it, my blogging inspiration!

Roots and tags

More evidence that Kune Kunes just can’t help themselves when it comes to rooting:

The weaners - 1 March 2009

The weaners - 1 March 2009

The little darlings are very sneaky. If I forget to switch on the electric netting, even for an hour, they burrow underneath it an the whole field is their oyster!

So far this week, I’ve caught Scratchy on the other side of the field outside Brini and Scrumpy’s enclosure (luckily their fence was on so he couldn’t get any further!) and Harold and Pinky on the bank, stuffing themselves on the grass. Scratchy got out overnight, and I’m not sure where he slept. He was more than happy to return in exchange for his breakfast, but Harold and Pinky got out while I popped out to get more pig food and since they had grass on their side of the fence and knew they’d only have roots, bramble leaves reeds on their proper side, refused point blank to come back until I produced some bread and waved it just out of reach… Both escapes were worthy of a “mole” from the PoW escape stories from the Second World War!!!

And, as you can see from the photo, the weaners are now sporting tags in their left ears. Legally, before they can be slaughtered, all livestock needs to be tagged so I thought I’d better get on with it as the two boys, Harold and Scratchy, don’t have long left before the Big Day, and Pinky, Perky and Curly won’t be around forever, either, though Perks might get longer as she’s got a nice long back and might make a decent candidate for some bacon.

I digress…

Since the sun was shining and the ground was nice and dry (better conditions for potential pig wrestling), I decided to get on with it and talked Jennie into helping out, using Fergie (who we didn’t tag) as a lure…

Tagging was a lot easier than I thought it would be, both for me and the pigs and while it clearly hurt them as the tag punctured their ear, within just a couple of minutes they were careering about as normal and when the next weaner was having their done, came back to the makeshift pen to see what was going on.

I gave them some treats afterwards, thinking to bribe them into forgiving me, but that turned out to be unnecessary, so the bananas and bread were more of a salve on my conscience than anything else!

Left to right: Curly, Pinky, Scratchy, Harold, Perky, Fergie

Left to right: Curly, Pinky, Scratchy, Harold, Perky, Fergie

Is Bailey going to be a daddy?

The pigs have been in seventh heaven all week as I’m trying to work out if Tia and/or Scrumpy are in pig. Without a scan, the best way to work out if the bulging belly is blubber or babies is to have a good feel: and the pigs have obliged have plopping down on the ground as soon as their breakfast is finished and staying there long after my arm’s ready to drop off! And, of course, I can’t give Tia a belly rub without indulging Bailey, and Brini’s not going to stand by and let Scrumpy have all the attention, either!

I’m fairly certain that Tia is in pig, but I don’t know if it’s from when Bailey covered her three weeks ago, or from the earlier attempt (ie disaster) three weeks before that.

I don’t think she’s six weeks gone as she’s only just starting to show and you can start to feel the piglets move from about six weeks so my money is on three weeks. Of course, it could be three weeks before either of those, but that’s quite unlikely. My money is on three weeks.

Scrumpy, on the other hand, is a mystery. She’s certainly overweight but as I didn’t even consider the fact that she might be in pig until yesterday when I was fussing her. It’s that all of a sudden, the shape of her belly looks, well, pregnant, and it’s not soft and squishy like Brini’s or Bailey’s. Again, I could be wrong but she looks like she’s in pig. And the more I think about it, the more that makes sense. Bailey didn’t cover her three weeks ago: she refused to go anywhere near him. And I never actually saw her come into season. I just thought I put them together too soon or too late but since she refused to go back to Tia (and since Bailey and Tia were getting on so well!) I just let her get on with things and decided to wait until Tia was a couple of months in pig before thinking about it again.

So, if she is in pig, how far along is she? Bailey didn’t cover her three weeks ago, which puts the likely dates at six weeks ago or nine weeks ago. There was no evidence that Bailey covered her six weeks ago but that doesn’t mean he didn’t. And I can’t feel any movement, so that would be about right.

Having said that, I’m not very good at feeling animals before they’re born and failed miserably with both Tia and Scrumpy the last time they were in pig, so maybe I shouldn’t use that as a guide!!

Plus there’s the fact that, as far as I can tell, Scrumpy appears to be coming into season – though sows can have “phantom heats” throughout their pregnancy.

Apologies for the long ramble, I’m just trying to work this out in my head and I find that writing it down helps put everything into perspective.

Not that it’s helped this time around.

Both girls may or may not be in pig.

They may or may not pop at the same time.

The possible due dates are:

  • 17 April
  • 9 May
  • 29 May

Ah. We could have a slight problem.

I have three arks.

If both girls pop, they’ll need one each, reuniting Bailey and Brini in the third.

What the hell will I do with all the weaners?! They’re not due to go to the abattoir until the end of April at the earliest (Kune Kunes are slow growers and are usually ready at 8-10 months).

Hmm, there’s not a lot I can do about that one! If Tia and Scrumpy are both in pig then the weaners will have to go before they farrow and unless I can accurately work out when they are due, I’ll have to aim for mid-April.

No matter what happens, I’ll probably re-introduce Fergie to Tia and hope that mother and daughter get along as well as Scrumpy and Harold did when she farrowed!

Having said all that, this entire post could be for nothing: I could be horrendously wrong and just have four happy but rather plump pigs!

Quiet times

It was unintentionally quiet at BmS yesterday as I took advantage of the last of the good(ish) weather to do some jobs outside, and it will be the same today as I’m off to Mum’s to see her, the ponies and the weaners – and to deliver Wurly to her new home on the way back! Which is great news as they’ve been terrorising mum these last few days and the less she has to deal with, the fewer moans I get. Although she has launched a campaign to save Harold from the freezer… no chance! I want sausages and his time is nearly up!!

So … see you tomorrow?

Glorious food!

Food!

Food!

Magical food!

Magical food!

Wonderful food!

Wonderful food!

Marvellous food!

Marvellous food!

Fabulous food!

Fabulous food!

Glorious food!

Glorious food!

British Sausage Week 2008

Thanks to LittleFfarm Dairy for letting me know that it’s British Sausage Week. Hurrah for sausages!

My favourite sausage meal is bangers n mash though I’m usually happy with most sausage meals. Unfortunately, ever since we put Vicky and Albert in the freezer, I’ve gone off shop-bought sausages big time. This is because our sausages were 100% pork – we only wanted chops and roasting joints so instructed the abattoir and butcher to put everything else into the sausages with no added extras.

Albert and Victoria - 17 March 2008

Albert and Victoria - 17 March 2008

In fact, I think the only thing that could beat our sausages will be the day I pluck up the courage to make our own, adding leeks and herbs and spices to the meat…

Hurry up, Harold!

Harold - 20 September 2008

Harold - 20 September 2008