He had broken out of his pen (well we all know who his mother is!) and eaten the afternoons hay.. that is everyones hay for the afternoon, then he tried to get the lids off the feed bins, then wandered out the door to see what he could see.
He was gently escorted back, following his bucket, obeying his call (every animal has a different call for just these occasions) and popped into the field with the big fellas aka Queenie and Hairy. He has officially grown out of his own special enclosure and can live with hairy and Queenie now.
And now we need to have a talk about Charlotte. You know that I have two girl piggies. Purebred Herefords. They are called the Shush Sisters. They are very sweet and very noisy and always hungry. Their names are Charlotte and Sheila. It is time to breed Charlotte. She is the big and robust. And we are hoping she will throw lots of gilts (girls) so we can sell them. The males will be raised on milk and eggs and go into the freezers of all the families we are feeding. This is one of the reasons I am pleased that Daisy is milking so strongly. Hopefully we can earn enough cash to keep everyone in hay and organic grains next year. It is a sustainable farm after all.
My beautiful high school student, who has pigs of her own, came to visit the Shush Sisters and we discussed the pros and cons of AI (Artificial Insemination). The biggest Con is that in a small group it is harder to tell if they are in heat. We have to order the semen and it only has a two day shelf life plus the nearest source is a day away. Well, you see my problem. The usual thing to look for (other than some physical changes in the rear that does not always happen and pigs jumping on pigs that does not always happen, when there are only two) is that the pig will stand still while you press on her lower back. This means she is in standing heat. And ready to be bred.
“Oh you mean like this?” I said, and sat on Charlotte’s back. Demonstrating that the Shush Sisters are so tame that they will stand anytime for anyone. Charlotte never moved an inch. She just stood looking at the girl, quite clearly saying, in pig speak, “I have to do this all the time, she has problems standing up by herself. She is a leaner. We think it is an affection thing. Humour her. Try to be nice.”
“Oh”, my alarmingly pretty high school student mentor said. ” Hmm.” she twitched her mouth sideways exactly like her mother does. “Maybe we should find her a boar. She thought for a minute. “But I don’t know where you can find a Hereford Boar.”
“I do” I said and so later I called the Swineherd . He was thrilled to bits. And we take Charlotte to his place on Tuesday afternoon. I don’t even want to think about it.
Charlotte, wipe your chin honey. No need to look quite so excited.
One of my homeschool children said to me the other day. Don’t you ever wipe their noses?
Good morning. I have three days to train Charlotte to get into the trailer. Then I have to work out how to get her into the trailer withOUT Sheila. I will have to have a think.
We found some windows at the junkyard yesterday but not the ones Our John wants. The recycled glasshouse will be attached to the house, like a lean-to, with a floor of piped hot water using the wood stove to heat it, eventually, though this is another project in itself. I have collected most of the materials but it is those roof panels of glass that are proving difficult.
But I chose the barn beam columns for the center of the Coupe (they are huge and wonderful) and found a lovely floor, in fact two beautiful old tongue and groove floors we will lay. There are huge pieces of oak for shelves and benches and piles of cedar for the trim. My next task is to find another man to make all the trim for the Kiwi Builder and finish all this timber I have found. This is why many people do not use recycled timbers, there is a lot of work involved in getting it ready. But thats OK. I like work. I can pull out nails and sand stuff.
Have a lovely day.