Saturday, 7 July 2012

Down and Dirrty...with the pigs

Saturday 7th July 2012
A promising start.

A young Roe Deer at first light comes just close enough to snap.

An early start today to make the most of the fine weather. A day of ragwort and thistle extraction. More on this in tomorrow's post. Suffice to say I've been pricked, stung, electrocuted and I have a nasty rash on my arms! And how could I forget...a tiny bit of sunburn!...And back ache.
By early afternoon I'd done 8 hours and was whacked. A good time for a supermarket trip as we'd not been for almost four weeks.

Down and Dirrty with the pigs
Rejuvenated by my break and on a slight sugar high from my supermarket treats, it was now time to move Gerald, since I'd separated the piglets from Daisy yesterday. We'd been holding Gerald in the stables for a while, mainly to avoid having to sell the piglets as weaners over the Christmas period. It takes 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days for a pig to have her babies, then another 8 weeks till I separate the piglets from their mother. So even if Gerald does the deed today, it will still be about New Year's Day when they are being weaned. It could be up to two and a half weeks before Daisy is ready to become pregnant, though in my experience it seems the sow changes her cycle to make the most of the boar's interest!

After a relatively straightforward journey from the stables to the pig pen, Sue and I spent a pleasant summer's evening with the pigs and chickens. Spending time observing the animals is not only a very pleasant experience, but is an important part of good husbandry.

The rest can be told in pictures.
Gerald was keen to get
out of the stables.

Watched by the geese,
he headed straight down to the pig pens.

He even broke into a trot at one point.
The only tricky bit was getting him
over the threshold into the pen.
For some reason, pigs are never keen
to go through gates.
Could be that he discovered clover along the way!
We actually brought Daisy out
and he followed her back in.


Daisy clearly remembers Gerald. She was
impressed at how well turned out he was.


That's better!
Gerald doesn't get out much these days.
He was straight into the mud.
Now, this website is not in the habit of displaying adult content, but the next section comes with an X-certificate. 
It contains scenes of a sexual nature as well as full on nudity.

Look closely and you'll see a part of Gerald that doesn't normally come out! (It's the thing underneath him that looks like a stick poking out of the ground.)
He was clearly pleased to see Daisy. I had heard rumours that the part in question was corkscrew shaped at the end and it was!!
Gerald's amorous advances included
gently nibbling Daisy's tail.
But Daisy was having none of it.
The last time she saw him was
2 months ago and he had been playing away.
She was in no mood for forgiveness.
Not yet at least.
... and definitely not with the children watching!

Gerald played the family man card

The piglets were very keen to meet their
father. Did they know who he was?
Only one of them had ever seen him before.


Lest we forget, the chickens proved more than capable of providing entertainment too. When we led Gerald down, they all lined up along the fence to watch. But their minds quickly turned back to chicken affairs, especially their evening ration of wheat.

Gerald and Daisy were last seen getting very grumpy with each other over accommodation for the night. The ark will be very cosy, but I'm sure they'll make their peace and find a way to snuggle in together.
I left them at dusk, both mooching around outside.

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