Gratuitous piglets

Gratuitous piglet pictures I mean. Just once more with the piglet pictures then we really need to get back to work. I know we have had one of the warmest Octobers on record and I am so grateful, but winter will come. And I have to be ready.  However for today here are Poppy’s Nine.

Poor Poppy overturned her water barrel yesterday and then lay her udder into the cold puddle. Poor darling.  She had the door open all day, and I think that was our last very warm day.  I am glad she made the most of it.


I don’t mean to neglect the great bunch of louts out in the back field. And I think this is the one whose name is Not Elfie (below).  I have such trouble getting images of the Tweens as Kim calls them.  Molly’s and Tahiti’s Bunch. They are quite the rabble. Just stepping into their field is a disaster – they are immediately on my feet. Wild and loud and trying to trip me up to get to the buckets. They are such – well – pigs!


This wee pig was on the verge of rushing out of her house – I was lucky to get that shot.


The coyotes were endlessly calling last night – displaced by the harvest they are exposed and howling- the dogs were kept very busy making sure they stayed on their side of the line.  In fact the dogs have elected to sleep outside for most of the nights now, to watch for stragglers.

We walk the boundaries in the mornings and  evenings, so my dogs can mark all the posts – I don’t know if it makes such a difference but it is what we do and so far my little farm has had no trouble from the wild dogs. Though I do make sure not to Give them a dinner – all the little ones are kept close to home.  And you never know – there is always the rogue factor. But all in all we have been lucky with our coyotes.

I hope you have a lovely day


ps.If you are one of my Instagram family, yesterday I posted a beautiful piglet picture over there – I love it.  My instagram handle is  cecilia_thekitchensgarden. (or something like that I keep forgetting). c


28 Comments on “Gratuitous piglets

  1. OMG that fly is so real on the piggies head I tried to swot it off my screen!! LOL Ok it’s early and I am only on my second cup of tea!

  2. Pigs they may be … but I still wish I was there to scoop up and cuddle the whole pile of the littlies 🙂 Laura

  3. I’m wondering if the coyotes move on to find more cover and new homes, or stay in your area throughout the winter? We do have foxes, coyotes and bobcats here, but there is plenty of forested habitat for them.

  4. Good that Poppy knows how to make herself feel better, self soothing, a term I have heard a lot lately. Lovely pics of the tiny, shiny piglets. Have a good day and good luck escaping the tweens!

  5. Here’s to hoping that your coyote population is a stable one and that they have enough to eat elsewhere! It always makes me nervous when we have little ones crying for their mamas in the spring and I know the coyotes are in the woods close by. Love the photos of the little ones, you can’t ever have too many shots of those cuties!

  6. It’s so odd to think of coyotes in Illinois. I grew up in Peoria. Of course they wouldn’t be near the city but I never even considered they be in the rural areas. Glad your menagerie is safe, though, and your pups vigilant.

    • Coyotes moved back into the central Illinois area in the late 1970s/early 1980s. I lived just outside the Peoria city limits in the mid 80s and was regularly awakened by a pack that liked to set up a sing along across the road in a pasture at 2:00 am. Not easy to sleep through that racket. May people blamed Wildlife Prairie Park for releasing coyotes into the area (some still do), but I think that is about the time the whitetail deer population started to explode. Animal control enlisted our help to try and catch a coy dog with a live trap a few years later. We had chickens and it kept coming around the hen house and neighbors were reporting it hanging around their houses too. It was wary of people but not afraid and since I had a toddler at that time that worried me so I agreed. It came way to close to us when we were out in the yard without trying to hide nor could I scare it away. Didn’t catch it but caught the neighbors’ cats, one of our barn cats (multiple times, he wasn’t the smartest cat) and one pissed off opossum. Thankfully the raccoons were smart enough not to get caught, I would not have attempted to release an angry raccoon. I think eventually someone probably shot it. About ten years ago a coyote pair moved into Forest Park Nature Center, I have photos of one of them taken when I went on a hike right before a winter storm moved in. I figure it was making a grocery run and I was very lucky to get those photos. I also am about 90% sure I saw a coyote going up the alley to Crusens (bar/restaurant) that sits in the middle of Peoria on Route 150 one night. It sure looked and moved like a coyote, but it was dark so I can’t be certain. It was probably headed to the dumpsters for take out. I often marvel how living in town now I see a larger variety of wildlife that when I lived in the country.

      • This is an interesting theory and one that is commented on here too. The old timers here say that the coyotes in this area came with the massive increase of corn grown, the corn attracted the deer, then the coyotes, it seems like a logical succession except that coyotes live mainly on the smaller mammals whose population also grew with the corn, mice, rats, rabbits. Corn ratchetd up in the 70’s with the introduction of round up ready corn seed so I guess more corn means more deer and small mammmals and consequently more coyotes. The people here hate coyotes but like I say my pack has a good leader, they come here every few weeks on their travels, and have never come near my stock. Though at the moment I think I am hearing two packs. I have more trouble from local dogs. Many people say that the mountain lions will eventually follow the coyotes and bobcats as they hunt the larger game but I don’t know. The mountain lion would have to be very hungry to come down here. An interesting observation though – Thank you for joining the discussion.. c

        • The growth of corn as the major source of farm income along with the decline of livestock on farms would make sense to the rise in the deer population. Timbers were allowed to revert to wilderness, no more cattle or hogs to compete with. Increase in grain crops and less livestock also seemed to lead to an increase in the small critter population. More ground squirrels, ground hogs, raccoons, squirrels and rabbits than I remember as a kid. These animals were the bane of livestock farmer with their dens, causing poor grazing areas, killing off hay fields, fences to weaken, and building foundations to crumble Unfortunately it also led to a decrease in the pheasant, quail, meadow larks, basically any grassland dweller bird. The mountain lions are already here, have been for a few years. Mostly along the Mississippi and in Southern Illinois where there are less people more forest and rough ground. Several years ago a dead mountain lion was found on the west side of Illinois not too far from the Mississippi River. Wolves have also been sited and killed within the state. Black bears are appearing down state too. The Dept of Natural Resources is finally starting to acknowledge that what people have been saying for years is correct s to more large wildlife. DNA testing on supposedly large coyotes has show them to be wolves or wolf dog crosses which was what happened in Marshall Co. I’ve heard that a coyote pack will take a newborn calf or even kill the cow when she is down giving birth. I figure a good size pack could handle a deer and especially a fawn. I will still take coyotes over packs of feral dogs or even just dog packs. Dogs seem to kill and harass livestock more for the sport of it than to eat them. Dog packs in my experience are much more of a danger to humans as they seem to lack the innate caution of human contact that the wild animals have. Dog packs are also willing to attack humans just because the human is there.

  7. I never thought about coyotes being displaced by harvest. The nearby milo fields were harvested just a month ago, and that is when I first noticed the coyotes in the area. We are still hoping to make modifications to the deer pen to keep Emma and Ronnie safe until we hope to release them after hunting season. If it’s evident we cannot keep them much longer, I hope we can eradicate a few more coyotes to make the area a little safer and give them the best chance at survival.

  8. Adorable little piglets . We have coyotes in the mountains and they scare the heck out of me. I was cross country skiing one winter and they were following me .

  9. We have them all around us at the farm. The past year or so, we’ve been seeing a beautiful healthy silver one. You’re so right about walking the bounds and having Ton and Boo mark your territory. We do the same with our two dogs, Cricket and Charger. You have to push back so they understand, “this is ours, stay out!” Some people’s knee jerk reaction is to want to kill these beautiful animals. Biologists say that coyotes have about a five mile range (maybe that’s here in the Northeast, maybe its farther out where you are…) and that’s THEIR territory. As long as there are rules, we can get along. If someone kills a coyote, another different one will move in. Better to train yours! You are very wise. You already know how to see into dogs’ behaviour, coyotes may be wild, but they are dogs too!

  10. I live smack dab in the city and we have coyotes! They live on a nearby golf course, though they range far, as other neighborhoods see them, also. We’ve all learned to be very careful about where our small animals are at night.

  11. Love all the photos but especially the chicken sitting in the wagon. Charming–all!! Yes we have coyotes in Chicago. I feel sorry for them. They are so skinny.

  12. GRATUITOUS piggies aside, because it is hard to beat baby photos, that shot of the cows in the barnyard is a beauty. The light playing with the colours is wonderful there and you can “see” the unseasonable warmth of the fall day. We, too, are experiencing that gorgeous weather and I am feeling hesitant at the end of each day knowing our great good luck has to come to an end sometime. Most days reading your blog produces smiles and sometimes, like today, a real chuckle…. over your comment about how piglets will be pigs, like they’re in training or something. Hope you have a lovely day too! ~ Mame 🙂

  13. Poppy’s a no nonsense pig who does things as she feels fit – I can see her coming from Herefordshire.
    I read about someone with a small biodynamic vineyard in France who collected the urine from his whole village in an attempt deter boars …it didn’t work, but I suspect that dogs and coyotes have a better scent marking understanding.

  14. A couple of neighbors before we moved had little dogs snatched out of their yards by coyotes, an area of houses in a large city. The coyotes were seen by myself and many neighbors trotting right down the middle of the street or on the sidewalks at night. It was not wise to let pets out unattended. After our move we still see them in the alley, as well as skunk, raccoon, opossom, chipmunks, squirrels, and sadly now, rats (they are attracted by the dumpsters of the apartment buildings). It doesn’t matter that the place we’re living temporarily is on a busy street, the coyotes don’t seem to care and happily trot on the sidewalks along it.

  15. Love the chicken in the wagon and the shadow of another cow on the barn wall. Love the little piglets, too. Their ears are so big.

  16. Those wee piggies are endlessly cute, but I can do see that you can’t spend too long on them, you have a whole Farmy to care for. Miss Poppy looks delighted with her own version of udder balm, what a clever girl she is! I know nothing of coyotes, but if they’re anything like our local equivalent, dingos, they do need to be kept at arm’s length. Dingos have taken human babies…

  17. I don’t believe I am making what a friend of ours calls a ‘generic comment’ BUT: OMG, aren’t these piglets the cutest ever 🙂 !!! . . . and I know how fond you must be of your ‘great bunch of louts’ out in the paddock . . .

  18. I’m your Instagram mummy, remember? I’m waiting for more footage of piglets rushing around playing, I so enjoyed that last time! Jenny xxx

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