Manu the Virgin Boar

– is a Virgin No More.

chooks in barn

And understandably very proud of himself.

And he was a perfect gentleman and at no time did Poppy or I feel threatened.  Yesterday morning I saw that she was ready so I opened the gates. He just walked up, ignoring his breakfast, said Hullo (by nosing her in the side) and then mounted her. He did this three times.   After a while she ran away so I locked her back into her pen. All was easy. All was calm. I was alone (chickens and dogs and cows not withstanding) –  so, all was as it should be, slow, gentle, no drama.


In the evening I let her out and they did it again. No screaming, no biting, no fights or anything.  In fact while he was breeding her I was scratching Poppy on the head telling her she was a very patient girl and we must be kind to virgin boars.  She stood well, quite happy, eyes glazed and dreamy, he is shorter than her so she made accommodations for that and they did very well together.  So I left them together to enjoy their evening.


I have read many, many pieces about how the breeding of pigs by a boar ( horrors) is noisy and violent and dangerous. And Charlotte came home cut on the face and changed forever and we all remember Sheila getting into a terrible fight with a boar.

I think that the breeders who have the most success are patient. Just patient. And when the girl runs away they open the gate and let her out.  When they have read the signs rightly and she stands for the boar they let nature take its course.  Artificial Insemination is a good option but not sustainable for me, and my wee farm has to sustain itself without buying semen in a plastic bag from the outside. (Though keep in mind that we will sell or swap boars every few years). So I bought a boar.  Also I think I am lucky to have a gentle, well bred boar who was well treated right from the beginning – this has resulted in a confident, kind animal. sunset

Last night I drove over to the West Barn  in the dark.

driving into sunset

With the dogs left on the back of the truck and with my Iphone light tucked into my jacket pocket, so I could walk without holding a torch, I softly crept into the big barn. The cows were sleeping. Poppy and Manu were sleeping, separately, but it is early days in their relationship, the chickens were sleeping.  All was peaceful.

Poppy and Manu will be together for the next three months now. To keep each other warm in the winter AND if she has not caught this month he should be able to breed her next month. Being a virgin he is only just working out HOW to do this.  But personally I think she is bred and more than happy.

So let’s count three months, three weeks and three days from yesterday (114 days). When will Poppy’s first due date be? I need to do the maths.

I am well pleased.

I hope you have a lovely day.

love celi


55 Comments on “Manu the Virgin Boar

  1. Ohh what good news! You have done so well, well done and give yourself a well deserved pat on the back. Have a lovely calm day.

  2. I’m sure that you and the farmy played a big part in the success. Manu has been loved and cared for and they’ve had a few days of smelling each other through the gate of a nice warm barn. You had me ROFL, once again, with your description 🙂

  3. Jubilation on the porcine success. Fingers crossed that it takes. Patience is an essetial virtue. I love the picture of the hens-in-a-row.
    Viv on her lonesome – family and husband departed. Sally’s lot missed their ferry at Zeebrugge and had to drive back to Calais and thus the length of England overnight instead of a nice sleep in a cabin and a much shorter distance to drive from Hull to Newcastle. I told them the ferry time was local time but D insisted it was GMT. Men are so pigheaded.

  4. I had a older boar that I bought, he was a tough boar, good with girls but scared me, he did not stay, I got a weaner sized boar and raised him up myself, and he was a delight, excellent temperament, I cried when he was sent to camp, he was so food with the females, I am so glad they got on so well..

        • If it’s a wee boar, he can be called Zac for short! Or perhaps the girls can be called after flowers, and the boys can all get Maori names.

          • You are all hilarious – naming all the progeny before we are even sure they are conceived. And sorry there will be no names – every piglet will be sold or leave the farm one way or the other and I cannot keep any gilts until it is time for Manu to leave. So no piglet names for a while.. c

  5. Lovely post today and so glad Manu and Poppy are getting along. I just checked the “Days from Date Calculator” and 114 days from Jan 2 will be April 25.

  6. Bravo Manu, you have performed heroically, and if Poppy didn’t chase you away, you must be passably good at your job already! Please may we have more photos of Manu’s lovely face with his interesting eyes? He may become the patriarch of a fabulous Hereford line of gentle boars and energetic, naughty sows!

  7. Yay! Great news! I wasn’t sure if you would leave them together now, but I am so glad that they had a gentle courtship. Breeding can be a headache for many different kinds of animals, and patience and calmness always wins :*)

  8. Never heard before such a touching love story about a Virgin Boar and his girl!
    Now he’s changed into a MAN… (I’m afraid that does not work in English). – Glad that everything went so well… And – btw – congratulations to you and your decision to get Manu for the Farmy! It was kind of a risk but the outcome is so very well now. It’s kind of a deep faith that you’ve got, Celi. Happy for all of us counting together: Three months, three weeks, three days…
    Love that last three photographs very very much. What a wide horizon you have.

  9. A few of those chooks seem to be saying “are they done, can we look now?” 🙂 Ok, we have the date now, we can start speculating on how many. Well done Celi, those piglets are going to be happy and calm piggies too. Laura

  10. What a terrific start to the new year. A possible whole new family to add to the farm. I’m delighted it went so well and gentle. Terrific shot of the sun creeping up in the early morning. Have a gentle Sunday.

  11. Yes I well remember that nasty boar who hurt Sheila but this time things have gone well, it is good when a plan comes out right..O make that sometime in mid april

  12. So happy all went well with the breeding! And no doubt they will be the closest of pigs, especially as the weather stays cold. Yes, getting Manu was a brilliant idea! Doing A.I. ourselves, after watching a Youtube video, with our two girls the first year was something else! We were fortunate that it worked with one and we got a lovely litter of piglets. But after that, we got Jethro, our wonderful boar, and raised him from a piglet to be a sweet, gentle giant. xo

  13. Way to go, Manu! Now that’s the way to start a new year! And that Poppy, the wise siren, making accommodations for her partner’s shortcomings. How very different is this experience from Charlotte’s and Sheila’s. Whew!

  14. You are toooo toooo funny! Love the story (and description). The farmy following is hoping for a big day on April 25th!

  15. I’m a little less worried now, after reading your post. I bought a boar “Onslow” in September (he was born June of 2015) and I’m hoping he will breed my virgin pig “Penny” (born January 2015) sometime maybe in March or April of this year. I’ve never done this before, this breeding of pigs and all. I have always bought my piglets in the past but hope to sustain my small farm myself as well. You give me courage through your posts and stories – thank you for that! I’m excited to cout down with you and hopefully your girl is bred and little ones are on the way! -Amanda

    • Hi Amanda! I think the most important thing I did for Manu was heaps of handling – every time I fed him i gave him a good scratch and told him good boy so he associates me and my voice with calm and good things. The other thing that was important was every time I let Poppy in if she ran away from him I called her back to her pen and shut the gate. Her heat signs are very slight. Keep me up to date on how things go with them! It is exciting. c

  16. Excellent! That sounds like a perfect experience, all around. I hope she settles and produces a healthy litter of piglets.
    I have seen a wide range of (human) attitude and (animal) behavior in breeding horses. Sometimes I really think some people LIKE to have drama and danger. But then, sometimes I think some people are idiots.

    • I do agree about how some people have to have drama and danger so they can look like tough guys. In fact I sometimes think that some people have to show off how tough they are. This was not a terrible process at all and not dangerous if managed calmly. It was only the preliminary visits that may have gone wrong but Poppy came when called so that worked well. c

  17. Ah such a lovely story.  I am happy for both of them because yes I do remember Charlotte and Sheila’s experience!Happy New Year dear Celi if I have not already said it.Chris

  18. Well, congrats Manu. It makes a great difference when any animal is shown kindness, calmness and care, they respond to that much better than anything else. You also know your animals, the things that upset them and the things that don’t. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble selling the piglets when the time comes. Good start to 2016.

  19. Early or late, April will be a very piggy month! What a relief that all went well and so easily. Now you have earned a few quiet calm days in the barn!

  20. Fifty Shades of Pig …….and chickens in the best seats for the show. Couldn’t be better, well done everybody 🙂

  21. Congratulations on a excellent project from the start. I keep thinking about your former life in Britain and what you would have thought and said had anyone told you what you would be doing in the future. Not only that, but doing it so well! Incredible!

  22. what a story to tell- obviously Manu is going to be quite the “Man” so nice they had a calm peaceful time. Back in the old days they probably would have smoked a cigarette after….
    now they just have a comfy snooze. Lovely.

  23. What good news this is. You must be so happy to have your patient methods rewarded by a good result. Let’s hope their progeny will inherit the good qualities of their parents.

  24. This is good news! You don’t need a repeat of what Charlotte and Sheila went through, that would tend to sour one on the whole idea.

  25. What a lovely post, Celi. I often witness copulation in this gentle manner with wildlife. I quite agree that patience is the key… in all things. 🙂

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