Life at the end of the road

February 24, 2010

Twelve on the hill :-(

Filed under: daily doings, for sale, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:40 pm

This is going to be a lightning post as I’ve only just finished my Cockburn’s prize winning haggis dinner http://www.scottishgourmetfood.co.uk/haggis/cockburns_haggis.htm and I’m needing my bed. First of all the 8 piglets that Bracken had through the night turned into 9 🙂 Not sure if it was my lousy counting or she fired another one out after I’d left.

Anyway, after feeding everyone this morning, checking on Bracken and hitching up my wee trailer I headed south for work with much more enthusiasm than was good for me 🙂 It had been a great ‘rest week’ despite all the breakdowns but I was looking forward to a week where someone else would have to make all the decisions 🙂

The day on the ferry was unusually quiet and I helped speed it along by doing lots of power washing and painting some hand rails. With a little quarrying and beachcombing during my lunch break. The day sped by and I was looking forward to my haggis, all I had to do was drive the 11 miles home, unload my trailer, remove my boots and sit down at the table, or so I thought. It was just as I was about to leave the silent and darkened Loch Striven that wifey phoned to inform me that Shona was missing. Shona being a very pregnant Gloucester old spot sow who’s been out on the hill with Bracken, or at least she was until we brought Bracken in to farrow.

We knew she was well on by her size but had no idea when Ginger had covered her, she’s been in with him for months and had come on heat at least 3 times before he finally did his stuff. In fact we took her out once thinking she’d been covered only to find her on heat yet again, we were even doubting if he had mounted her. To be honest I just think that he does not fancy her as he was straight on top of Jamie Lee yesterday and Bracken before her. Knowing that she was imminent we should have kept her on the croft but she’d access to it and had been sleeping in a nice cosy shelter so we’d no reason to suspect  that she’d wander off to farrow.

Once home and with the haggis boiling away merrily I set off looking for her with my son, the swineherd already having spent a couple of hours searching before dark, giving up when it started to snow. She however was trying to compete with half a gale of north east wind whereas when the boy and I went out the wind had died away enabling us to walk quietly, rattle a bucket then listen for the tell tale grunt of a sow talking to her piglets. Sure enough after about half an hour we found her in a lovely nest with 12 piglets,

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it was a long way off the track, over a bog, through a wood and against a bank at the top of a hill 😦

We gave her a feed then went back home to get wifey, more food and a sack, the plan being to put the piglets in a sack then lead her back to the croft with the sack full of wains and the bucket. It failed miserably 😦 we got the piglets in the sack no problem but she just would not go more than a few yards from the nest. Even taking one of the piglets out and trying to lead her with that failed, she just would not leave her cosy pile of bracken and heather so we gave up and put the piglets back in it with her.

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With snow on the way I’ll be surprised if they all make it but there’s not much else we can do other than keep her fed, watered and hope for the best.

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So there are definitely a few of these spare, ready some time after the 7th April, £30 each and now I’m off to bed!

I couldn’t wait :-)

Filed under: for sale, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:34 am

Well I just couldn’t, I awoke this morning at 5:15 and went to check on Bracken, as soon as I opened the front door I knew by the contented grunting that she’d farrowed during the night.

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Eight fine piglets 🙂

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and I think their may be a couple spare 🙂

And now I’m off to work!

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