A day in the life of the Piggie Shush Sisters

I thought I would show you what the Shush Sisters get up to during the day. Charlotte and Sheila. My naughty Hereford piggies.

The Shush Sisters have a night time residence in the barn. It has big inside sleeping quarters, that can be closed right up for the winter, and an outside concrete courtyard. In the morning they lie ever so quietly as I feed the other barn animals and birds and milk Daisy the cow. 

They can count. And the moment the pump goes off after the last rinse of the lines, they leap up and watch me carry their milk out to the summer palace. Sometimes they start to squeal to me. But I tell them to Hush and they always stop. I say Wait and they stand at the gate, hopping from one hoof to the other, snuffling. I get their breakfast ready out in the field, then come back to the barn and open their inside door so they can run at high speed, through the barn, across the fields and into their summer palace. 

They have two sections in there. Divided by their tunnel. One is for eating and sleeping and rolling. 

The bigger grassy area is for play and far across this little field is their toilet. They do not use the toilet in the barn courtyard at all now. They wait until I let them out into their field.  But they will not go until they have eaten. Food is always first. Good little piggies. Once they have eaten their breakfast they will scuttle across the field and do their business. No smelliness. 

Then it is play time as I fill the water barrels all around the farm. They can come with me if they promise not to chase the cows.  Everything they do has a comedic pogo stick action. With screeching halts as they process something in their little brains. Then they will whip their heads around and bam off they go at a high speed trot. These pigs do not stroll. Their movements are a series of high speed bolts.

Back in their own palace grounds, during the day, they either sleep or play. 

Hosing and taking pictures can be dangerous. Especially if you have  a little piggie intent on creeping up from behind so you will play with her stick or piece of weed or whatever she is carrying around. 

Then there is some more sleeping.

More playing. Maybe even a wee bit of a think.

In the late afternoon before chores we do some training. Coming when called, sitting or retrieving. Waiting. Not nibbling at miss c. Charlotte wanders about and Sheila does a lot of talking. They are not the most obedient class but they have a lovely time. They talk non stop during class too.  Naughty piggies. In the evening we do it all backwards. Once I have finished the milking I lay out their evening meal in the concrete area beside their sleeping quarters and once the pump is off they begin to call out from the summer palace that they are ready for bed. I open the gates and they race through the gates and barn doors, back down the barn corridor, through the bedroom and out to their courtyard to have a wee snack of warm milk and eggs.  

Then bed time. 

Every day. It is a pig’s life.

Good morning. I hope you all have something lovely to see or do today.

You know what I will be doing out here on the farmy.

celi

On this day a year ago. Mama’s lasagna. And some bonus shots of Route 66 service stations.  I love these old American service stations. Maybe I will make the lasagna for dinner tonight.

72 Comments on “A day in the life of the Piggie Shush Sisters

  1. A Pigs life indeed! Wow these two little piggies have grown – a lot.Morning Celi 🙂 Laura

  2. They are excellent pigs and a good looking couple of sisters in a porcine way. There was a wonderful programme on BBC2 ( House Restoration – Colton Mill – Aug22 2012) with an American girl and English hubbie putting together a farm of ancient English breeds of English pigs and sheep. I was going to attach a podcast for you to seee but the BBC won’t allow anyone to watch their things outside the UK. We have a sneaky way of seeing English TV in France but I can’t watch replays on computer.

    • Oh poo, that does sound interesting too. Why won’t they let the rest of the world access it do you think. I miss BBC.. c

      • You can pay for a proxy server which will allow you to use the iPlayer outside of the UK – but watching TV by internet uses a lot of bandwidth…
        Thanks for mentioning that Roger, I didn’t even notice it was on – there’s so little on that I rarely look!

    • Today we are going to start learning to walk backwards so i can open a gate without them pushing on it. I taught Daisy how to do this so i am sure i can teach a pig! Morning Terry! c

  3. All you need is David Attenborough to do a little narration and “Pigs” could replace “Penguins” as this year’s hit nature documentary.
    I’d a friend who cared for a pot bellied pig for about 6 months a few years ago. He claimed — and you’re proving — that they can be trained as easily as a dog. I only saw it a couple of times. Max was a puppy and the last thing I needed to see was a better behaved pig.
    Have a good day, Celi!

    • Well he lied, it is much harder to train a pig and at the risk of getting serious you can make eye contact with a dog but pigs do not look at your face, you cannot raise your eyebrow at a pig and nod for it to lay down. The pig is not watching your face for signs.. And these pigs are always right on the edge of hysteria, they are going too fast all the time. Max will watch you and think where to? is it walk time? are we going in the car? bed time? . Pigs will watch you and think which hand is hiding the food..Is my bowl full again.. what’s that? did you see that? .. you cannot get down on the same level as a pig because he will be at you with his snout in seconds. You cannot give a pig a treat, she will be all over you looking for another one. Sheila gets many reprimands for chewing on my boots or the hem of my skirt. So i am having to rethink the whole basic premise to my training. Much of it is working. but not well enough yet. Maybe pot bellies are brighter.. c

      • I feed my pigs from a red washing up bowl because when they break out, and they nearly always do at some point, I can get them back with the red bowl. But it takes patience, yeah yeah I’m coming, ooh food, hang on what’s over there, this is fantastic out here, oh that’s right you’ve got food, let me pull apart the compost heap and I will be right with you, and on it goes. Intially my heart would be in my mouth wondering if I would get them back before they get on the road or worse onto my lawn! Now I know the food will get them back eventually but because of their short attention span and piggy excitement there wil be many many distractions along the way. Also for some reason it is easier to get two back rather than one.

        I am impressed that you can hush them at feed time, i’d be interested to know how you taught them that?

        • that is exactly right.. they are so easily distracted.. i have a call that they respond to which usually gets their attention, plus teaching them to run to the barn when i shout Go Home, means when they get out i yell Go Home and they run to their bedtime quarters for that feed.. gates do not open unless they are quiet. feed does not appear in the bowl if they are squealing. I just out wait them and they have got the idea, My cats are the same, if they meow at me nothing happens.. what kind of pigs do you have? c

          • I have Berkshire crosses, they are black with white toes. Like you I grow mine for the freezer but I think it only fair to keep two together so I sell the excess. I live in sub tropical Australia so the dark hair protects them from the sun so they can live outside. Pure bred Berkshires are pretty small and take a while to mature so mostly they are crossed with something that is bigger and grows a bit faster.

            Currently I have four and am thinking of keeping one of these to breed from as my piglet supplier is getting out of the business. But like you I have to think about how I am going to deal with the resulting piglets and ensure that my land does not get trashed. I am thinking that the ideal situation would be a buddy system with someone else who also has one sow. Timing the sows to give birth at different times of the year then sharing the piglets at weaning time means you get maybe five piglets twice a year rather than ten +all at once.

            Thanks for the feeding time tips, I will give it a go, but maybe start on a day I don’t work as I can see it will take time and that other essential pig keeper tool, patience.

            • I am only going to breed one.. I wish i knew someone like you but closer as really I am just feeling my way.. I have quite a few people who will buy the pork, but again like you I am very careful of my wee bit of land, we will have to see.. i never meant to be a pig farmer!! c

              • Me either, I started with two boys and didn’t know about boar taint so had to get them to the butcher quick smart, hence excess pork and fledgling business. I would be happy to trade tips and knowlege once in a while.
                Send me your email
                as this thread
                is getting
                very
                thin

    • Charlotte and Sheila, Their call is shush-shush. And that just morphed into the Shush Sisters. No real reason. like most of the names it just happened.. c

      • Of course I just managed to call them the ‘Slush Sisters’ on another blog a few days back: no wonder there was polite silence 🙂 !! Wish they knew they are probably the most famous pair of piggies in the universe . . . 🙂 !

  4. Good Morning, Miss C. Not sure what I’m up to today yet, having knocked out writing first thing as always. There will be music practice, probably cooking, maybe a walk or two. And I should continue mucking out the stables — aka my room, which has too much stuff in it that I haven’t figured out how to store or get rid of yet.

  5. We usually have a couple of pigs for the summer but missed out this year. Reading your post reminds me why I love having them, especially the description of them racing around.

    • Morning Anne, We are not going to eat these ones.. Our summer pork is already in the freezer. These ones are for breeding so i have to work out how to manage them in the winter too which will be a challenge.. c

  6. I love the shadow picture, she looks as though she’s pondering hard about yours! Watching pigs dash around like mad things always makes me smile. One year we had 18 piglets and they used to hurtle down the field like a piggy tsunami, their squeals sounding like brakes that were struggling to bring them to a halt! Happy days.
    Christine

  7. Those piggies lead an awesome life! They may be harder to train but they seem to be well behaved and probably listen better than most people’s kids! Off for another trip to the farm and I get to spend two nights! Maybe I’ll get some better pics this time if I can take the time to do it. Have a great day, Celi!

    • I checked to see if your pics were up earlier, i shall drop over again, spending two whole nights at the new farm will be fantastic! c

  8. Those little piggy girls are so smart! And what fine specimens they are, too, such glossy coats and I’m sure all that good Daisy milk helps with that. Really enjoyed the day in the life…what fun!

    • Oh you are right. it probably is all the milk and whey that keeps them shiny.. i try to keep their corn to a minimum so they don’t get too fat.. c

  9. Thery are such…dare I say it…hams. Metaphorically speaking. Comic in so many ways.

    • In Australia we have an expression “carrying on like a pork chop” it means you are being silly and giddy or foolish. Very apt I think.

      • I have never heard that expression–perfect! I think “ham” is a theatre term…

  10. Those piggies seem so delightful! I bet they are adorable when they whip their heads back and break out into a trot —

  11. Good morning, c! These two are just wonderful! It always amazes me how animals are so much smarter than we often give them credit for. And they love routines, don’t they. Quite often we watch an episode of a particular classic TV show before bedtime, and when the closing theme song begins to play, Dug the dog gets up and goes to his bed for the night. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

  12. Well, I guess it’s too late for you to see this, but I still have to say I loved this post. When I was teaching English, I relish teaching this particular book: A DAY NO PIGS WOULD DIE, by Richard Peck (not Robert Peck). It is one of THE most touching stories–it HAS to be autobiography. A good deal of humor too.
    All my life, I was taught that pigs are every bit as smart–even smarter–than dogs. I can’t tell for sure if this is true from your comments. I guess they are smart in some respects, but not in others. Just as cats are smart in ways unlike a dog.
    Next I want to see a DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE LAMBS. : )

  13. I’ve spent my day with the shush sisters. Charlotte and Shelia are better than television. They are your very own traveling road show.. It is a joy to see the photographs of them. And, a bigger joy to read about them. I loved my day with the girls. Virginia

  14. My daughter has just started reading ‘Babe’, which she has proclaimed “SO entirely better” than the movie. I will show her your photos and her wee head will explode, joyously. Thanks, c =D

  15. I adore them. I adore their antics. I adore your descriptions. I love their names. I love that they are in class being trained; I’m in heaven after I read your blog!

  16. Celi, I adore them too, I just have to repeat everything that sorrgnat says. I’m smiling all over after reading this.
    It’s such bliss to know that some little piggies live in piggie heaven – if only all the other pigs could, love valerie

  17. Lovely, lovely piggies. I never imagned they could be trained to such a routine. The other day I saw some Oxfordshire sandy-and-blacks. Charming pigs. Have you seen them? Those are the ones I’d like in my next organic farm life! 🙂

  18. I’m reading about “yesterday” as a new day begins…but I’m so glad I still stopped by even though very late. I love those piggies! Debra

  19. Those pigs are so on the ball! It’s fascinating to go through a day with them. And I couldn’t believe how long they are when stretched out on the ground. It’s fascinating to hear about how you train them, the smart little things (well, not so little any more)

  20. What a fun and uplifting post. You little piggies are so cute first a bath and then they jump in the mud. They sound like my boys when they were little.

  21. Those girls sound like so much fun. I’m amazed that pigs can be trained so well. I really enjoy getting to know your animals.

  22. Pingback: Shadow Play | Vivinfrance's Blog

  23. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog
    before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s
    new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly happy I found it
    and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  24. My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post truly made
    my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information!
    Thanks!

Welcome to the Lounge of Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: