Monday, 6 March 2017

Pigs!

The weekend finally has arrived when we reached an important milestone in our drive towards self sufficiency of meat and took on 2 piglets. 

They are large white cross landrace.  Large white are best known for bacon pigs according to the internet, but we shall be keeping these for 6 months and using them to fill our freezer with goodies that we hope to see us through 12 months.  I have no idea if 2 pigs will give us enough meat for a family of 4 for 12 months or not.  I will let you know in 18 months time!
We collected them at 9:30 on Saturday morning and of course used a method of transport most people wouldn't....but that is us all over !
They settled in amazingly quickly considering they have never felt straw under their feet before and have only known their mother.  The farmer, a neighbour friend, was kind enough to lend us a heat lamp as they still need to be under heat for a few weeks yet.
They are from different litters (same father, I need to find the piggy term) but get on well.  Both similar sized, so there's less chance of bullying.
They are very young so we're feeding them their feed in milk at the moment and will eventually get them just on to the hard feed in a few days.  The milk is very good for them anyway though.
Grace named them - not me! Sunflower and buttercup.  They're both girls and will live in the barn until the warmer weather comes, when they then have a job to do.  I need part of a paddock turning over as it's riddled with nettles and weeds.  I hope they do a good job!
We plan on feeding them home grown veg to supplement their hard feed which is their primary feed source of course.
Ste said something that really stuck with me at the weekend.  Our smallholding is nearly complete.  How nice of a feeling is that?
'Nearly' as we have some other arrivals due soon ;)



11 comments:

  1. Oh Tracy I am soooo envious. I can't wait until we can have pigs. Cute names Grace... Great idea about them turning over the paddock, they will do a fab job of that I'm sure, from what I have read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to Mr John they will ;) I will get lots of photos and evidence it all the way. I don't think they will take long too!

      Delete
    2. I wondered if JS was where you had been reading up on that! I was all ready to have a flip through my book whilst Alfie was at piano last night then he asked me to go in with him so maybe later!

      Delete
  2. Oh this brought back memories of my childhood! Although my parents didn't have a smallholding as such, they had a fairly large garden complete with pig-sty. They bought two little piglets to rear. They were transported home in a similar way to yours - on my knee in a van. I got covered in poo! I loved those pigs and as I was only about 8 at the time had no idea what they were being raised for! They disappeared one day (to a local butcher who slaughtered) - I was told they had "erysipelas" - something I informed my teachers of at primary school!! The fact that two chest freezers were full of pork joints and bacon never really occurred to me - until a few years later!! Even now, some 45 years later I can still remember the smell of the pig meal cooking in the boiler. Fun times indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love hearing other people's memories of things like this. I hope my kids have lots of happy memories from their childhood here :)

      Delete
  3. I much prefer pigs to sheep. so much easier to keep. They are clever, they will find a way out if there is one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep hearing that they are escape artists, I think it will be when they go out into the paddock that we shall end up chasing them around unintentionally!

      Delete
  4. Exciting times! Let's hope they're good little piggies. x

    ReplyDelete
  5. welcome piggies, they will do great job of turning over the ground, no names if they are going in the freezer is the rule here, although by the time they are freezer size, they are noisy and boisterous I am happy for them to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think trying to stop Grace naming them is like trying to stop my horse running through an open field gate LOL. I think we will be happy for them to go before the winter here as we don't have the over wintering options really. Great advice though, thank you.

      Delete