Posts Tagged ‘piglet’

Sweet dreams, little piglet

I was sitting in the pig ark with Pinky’s piglets yesterday morning, watching as they wore themselves out playing and fell asleep in a big huddle. I couldn’t resist taking a quick video of this one as she had a wonderfully active dream!

All change!

Yesterday turned out to be a mammoth pig moving day, which just goes to show how much I have changed. Gone are the days when I couldn’t move one ark by myself … yesterday, I moved two!

Pinky, Curly and the piglets had run out of grass. It might have looked as though they still had grass, since the enclosure had a green floor, but I know that all the good stuff had gone because they did this:

Pinky, Curly and the piglets - 4 October 2009

Pinky, Curly and the piglets - 4 October 2009

However, there was one small hitch. The part of the field where I wanted to move them to was slap bang next door to where Tia, Brini, Perky, Scrumpy and Fergie were getting down and dirty in the mud (ie clearing the undergrowth) which meant that in order to move The Family, I needed to move the Quintuplets first! Why? There’s not an electric fence in the world that would keep a boar away from five females if they were so close! And considering that Scrumpy is Curly’s mother…

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for them to establish a hierarchy after I put them together for the first time on Thursday, once I’d got back from taking Bailey. Amazingly, Tia is the new matriarch! That’s quite something for a pig who, 18 months ago, I bought only because I felt sorry for her. It just goes to show that a leader lurks in all wallflowers… Anyway, the remarkably swift establishment of said hierarchy means that they are sharing one ark at night instead of using both, which actually made the move possible, since there was no way I was three pig arks in one day!

So, with much grumbling under my breath (the five pigs had at least another week’s grazing were they were, possibly more), I transported all their bedding to the new site, dragged their ark across the field, went back for the rubber mats that make up their floor, rolled up, moved and erected three 50m rolls of electric netting, then moved the five, who knew where they were going and only waited for me because I had some pears in a bucket!

Tia, Brini, Scrumpy, Fergie and Perky - 4 October 2009

Tia, Brini, Scrumpy, Fergie and Perky - 4 October 2009

After dragging myself back to the house for a most tasty lunch of boiled eggs on toast (thanks, girls!), I set about moving the piglets.

In theory, this move wasn’t as physically demanding, since the distance was (a) shorter and (b) on a slight downhill slope but mentally, it was exhausting. Have you ever tried to explain to six squealing and hyperactive piglets that they have moved house?!

Once everything was moved, I finally managed to catch all six and plopped them in the ark, persuading Pinky to go in to feed them to help them relax. This tactic vaguely worked, in that instead of rushing around the enclosure, panicking, they instead ran around after her as she rushed around sampling all the different grasses!

Eventually, once the sun had gone down, I saw the piglets take themselves off to bed in the ark’s new location, rather than the old location, which is where they had, naturally, been trying to get to all afternoon, blocked by the electric fence, which I switched on.

All in all, it was quite a day!

Here’s another piglet photo (sorry, can’t resist!)

Piglets! 4 October 2009

Piglets! 4 October 2009

I can’t believe how much they have grown in the past two weeks!

More piglet Ooohs and Aaahs!

Patch - 29 September 2009

Patch - 29 September 2009

That’s Patch. He’s the smallest of the litter and is currently being bottle-fed on top of what he gets from Pinky. And yes, the others do have names as well, but I’m still struggling to tell them all apart, let alone get them to stay still long enough for me to take a photo!

Piglets at the milk bar - 30 September 2009

Piglets at the milk bar - 30 September 2009

You know you want to steal one, really!

Curly, Pinky and their piglets - 1 October 2009

Curly, Pinky and their piglets - 1 October 2009

Amazingly, considering it was the first of October, it was so hot on Thursday that the pigs declared the Grand Re-Opening of Wallow Season and I spent much of the afternoon carrying buckets of water across the field to refill empty water bowls.

Pinky wouldn’t let Curly share her wallow … he had to wait til she’d finished!

Piglets on the move - 2 October 2009

Piglets on the move - 2 October 2009

I swear that this lot are far more adventurous than my previous litters … this morning they were all for heading off down the drive, and this afternoon their courage (thankfully!) failed them just as they were about to pop through the electric fence making up the sows’ enclosure! Little monsters… On Sunday, I’ll be switching their electric fence on in the hopes of encouraging them to stay put!

Fun in the sun!

Yesterday was one of those days that flew by, the kind that you wish you could preserve, re-visit, or hold in time forever.

Ok, so it wasn’t the best start, as the runt of Pinky’s litter died in the night, but I knew that was coming and given how weak he was, despite my best efforts to bottle feed him, his death was more of a relief than anything else as it meant an end to his suffering.

It’s funny, all three gilts (girls) are strong and healthy, but the three remaining boars are much weaker and I’m quite concerned about two of them, so I’ll be bottle feeding them, not to replace Pinky’s milk but to top it up. So far, they are resisting my efforts, which I think is a good sign, but I’ll persevere, just in case!

The day started cloudy, which was fitting, but the sun broke through the clouds and burned hot in the sky for the rest of the day. Jennie and her clan came over for the afternoon, and we played with the piglets, had a picnic in the orchard, walked the dogs down to the river, visited all the pigs, played with the piglets again … Good times!

Perky, Fergie, Scrumpy and Brini - 27 September 2009

Fergie, Scrumpy and Brini relax in the morning sun ... Perky (on the left) keeps eating!

Bailey - 27 September 2009

Bailey also enjoyed the sunshine and spent most of the day lying on the cool earth with the hot sun on his back

Pinky - 27 September 2009

It was too hot for Pinky so she settled down in the wallow to cool off

While the adult pigs were chilling out, the piglets had some playtime:

And then, worn out, some snooze time:

Pinky's piglets - 27 September 2009

Pinky's piglets sound asleep ... at last!

Having spent the day being charmed and entertained by the piglets and their antics, I hastily finished my chores and just managed to get everything done by the time the sun went down:

Sunset over the field - 27 September 2009

Sunset over the field - 27 September 2009

And then over to Jennie’s for a bowl of her husband’s delicious chicken curry.

Yup, despite the bad start, yesterday was a good day.

Hush-a-bye, piggy

Yesterday morning, all the cool pigs went back to bed after their breakfast:

Brini - 26 September 2009

Brini - 26 September 2009

Pinky's piglets asleep in the straw - 26 September 2009

Pinky's piglets asleep in the straw - 26 September 2009

Stay-at-home Dad!

Mum (Pinky) went outside to do her thing:

Pinky - 22 September 2009

Pinky - 22 September 2009

Dad (Curly) was left in charge:

Curly and the piglets - 22 September 2009

Curly and the piglets - 22 September 2009

Luckily, he’s great with the piglets:

Now, if I can just arrange that Lottery win so I can stay and play with them all day…

Pinky and the piglets!

I’m pleased to report that all seven piglets survived their first night and were sound asleep between Pinky and Curly when I arrived at the farm this morning.

I’ve taken loads of photos, but thought you might appreciate this video as well:

And here’s a photo of the piglets in the ark with Pinky and Curly:

Curly, Pinky and their piglets - 21 September 2009

Curly, Pinky and their piglets - 21 September 2009

It’s so frustrating – after today, I don’t get another day off until Sunday, which means I’ve got loads of work to do around the farm. But it’s also my last full day to sit and stare at the piglets! Anyone fancy giving me a week’s wages so I can stay here and watch the little buggers grow?!