Then we received the call that Charlotte had completed.. um.. relations with the boar (witnessed – like royalty) and was ready to come home. So we hitched up the trailer and raced over in high excitement to escort Her Royal Pregnantness home but she was Doing a Daisy and making sure we all knew that she was in a brilliantly bad mood.
She barked all the way home and once she was released she immediately yelled at Sheila for letting the house get all messy, kicked her out into the yard and proceeded to do the housekeeping. Then she ate everything in sight, drunk half a bucket of water and went to bed.
I had a cool discussion with the swine herd when he asked me if I had a farrowing crate. No I said, I have a lovely big pen with plenty of room for everyone. She will kill the piglets he said, lying on them. You have to keep her in the cage for at least a week, there is room for her to lie down and the piglets come and go, he said.
If she kills her piglets she is a bad mother and won’t be bred again. I said. I will give them plenty of space. We will do it the natural way. We have room.
You can bring a crate into the barn, he said. They are so heavy the pig cannot move them though, he said. They are made of iron.
I gave him two big jars of honey. He would not accept money for the stud fee. He is a kind man really, but different, with other ideas. I am sure he meant well. And I am also sure that he thinks I am bonkers, but he thinks it kindly. We are different that is all.
Ah well, I said, not wishing to continue the conversation. We climbed back into the red truck with our honking pig in the trailer and looked at each other. What did the old farmers do, John said. I am pretty sure they did not bring farrowing crates across on their wagons.
The pig builds itself a nest of straw and sticks, I said.
Make sure we save her a couple of bales. Said John, putting the truck into gear. This pig is going to need a pretty big nest.
Good morning. Everyone was in bed early yesterday, the day had been coated in white stars and sunshine, and the full moon turned the night into a paradise of gently snoring softness. I was full of contentment as I crunched over the ice with my bottles of warm milk doing my rounds. TonTon carrying the torch beside me.
Put a circle around June 17 for Charlotte. This will be her time, give or take two or three days either side. A pig is pregnant for three months, three weeks and three days. About.
Have a lovely day. We have another gorgeous sunny day in store, I might let the lambs out for a gallop in the fields. But first the milking.