Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs!
Well.. the three little Pigs arrived last week… we went and collected them with Kate Fox (http://www.katefoxmicroholding.co.uk/) and her mother-in-law, from Horsham way. They are pedigree Oxford and Sandy Blacks from prize winning stock, a breed which is apparently an excellent meat pig! As they were only 8 weeks we decided the Lintran dog box in the back of the car would suffice, but it turned out it was only just! The farmers had had 3 litters all at once, unintentionally, but the Boar escaped one day and managed to impregnate three sows in one night! Our litter was small with only 5 piglets so they are massive! They only just fitted into the dog box and then we endured a forty minute journey with the windows wide open as piggies poo when they are scared!
They are happily settled in their new spot with a good square of grass around the apple trees surrounded by electric fence and net. It has rained constantly since they arrived and they seem to spend their whole time in their little house. They are becoming less shy and run around like mad things, ears flapping.. hilarious to watch!
We have kept pigs in our friends’ woods for a couple of years, but last year our two very old apple trees were absolutely laden with apples and at the end of the season there was about a foot deep of rotten windfalls that we just couldnt keep up with! We froze loads of apple compote and made dozens of different jellys like sloe and apple, garlic, chilli, sage, mint.. but still had a great vast thick mattress of apples left! So, we thought, what better than to put pigs under the apple trees this year to eat all the apples as they fall? All the best laid plans and all that.. well this year like so many people, we have virtually no apples on the trees. Clearly at pollinating time, it was so cold, wet and windy, the bees didnt venture out and most of the blossom blew off the trees so the pigs will not have the pleasure of unlimited apples! Terrible year for fruit trees, we have very few apples, no cherries, no plums, a few figs, two greengages on the espalier on the patio, but plenty of slugs and snails eating all the veg! (Nothing so pleasurable as feeding them to the chickens!) anyway here are a couple of videos of feeding time for the pigs… turn the sound up!