Pigs and Mud

This is why I think Alex is  pregnant.

Sheila was shifted down into the back paddock for two reasons .  One:  she is still fighting Molly through the gates and will cause a problem when the piglets start to arrive. Two: she is getting fat lounging around in the barn. I cannot take her to the bank  for her walks anymore because of the toxic mud, all she wants to do is roll in it so she needs a field.

So she and I walked down the back  to the recently vacated root cellar field.  She was very happy about this – she has spent many happy summers down here but usually she has an above ground house and this year she has to sleep IN the root cellar.

And this was not a popular choice.

She was loud in her protests as I tried to call her down.

There are monsters in there, she called.  Get out,  she said. I am not going down there. The stairs are slippery. It smells funny. It is too early for bed.

Come back up here with me, she says.

Alright – but you are on your own down there,  she told me.

I am off out into the garden to eat worms.

Later in the evening I enticed her down for a look using food.  She is a pig after all.  I sat down with her  for a while – her breath already smelt like garlic chives from the fields.  It was kind of a nice smell.

There is a lot of mud. Everything is just mud.

I used to look good in gray. With my blue eyes. But by the end of the day yesterday, after shifting all the cows around and dealing with pigs in mud and chickens in mud. Even the sky is the colour of mud.  And this wind will not GIVE UP! Well. Grey. I am over it. There is a certain amount of knuckling down and getting on with it this month.

Sitting with Sheila is her nice dry shelter was a nice time though.

Lady Astor is back at the home farm and giving me the stink eye for send her away in the first place.  She was dropping mucousy strands from her rear the other day- she always does this in late pregnancy. Still no sign of an udder forming.

I just spent 15 minutes looking through old posts trying to find a picture of Lady Astor six weeks before her last calf, (she is due May 11) for a comparison but I cannot find one and have run out of time. I will look again later.

Molly the sow is very close now. Her lights are on at night now so she gets used to that and if anything happens I can see. Now that Sheila is out of the barn she slept quietly yesterday afternoon.

We will see – could be any day – but hopefully not tonight as it is forecast to drop below freezing tonight.

I hope you have a good day.


30 Comments on “Pigs and Mud

  1. You’re right about Lady A and the stink eye – that’s one hostile and grumpy look. She’s probably feeling her pregnancy. Poor Sheila and the Monsters in the Root Cellar. She’s really a very sensitive person, despite the impression creative by her sleek bulk. These days she’s more of a Bulk Crude Carrier than an ocean liner – long, smooth lines and very, very Large.

  2. Watching for the signs of pregnancy at times seems like such a guessing game! Knowing the date is also extremely helpful. Or so I thought until Betty Boop, the first of our Lamancha goats who is expecting, suddenly delivered two kids two weeks before what I thought her due date was. Very surprising indeed!!!
    I can only think that it was me who recorded the date incorrectly. Mama and babies are doing great! 🙂

  3. I would also interpret Alex as being pregnant! Poor Sheila, I can understand her fears. Hope she gets used to the root cellar, it is probably a really cozy spot. This weather is just nuts here as well, we are bracing for a snowstorm tonight into tomorrow. Maybe it will be an April Fools instead!

  4. I do not do steps! Yes you do Sheila. 😂 Mind you if my memory serves, she does do steps, onto your veranda! 😂

    • That was Poppy I think. But Sheila came up out of her dungeon this morning no trouble at all and covered in straw, so she must have burrowed deep in there. c

  5. Odds are ..it will e tonight when it is freezing cold  

    Sent: Friday, March 31, 2017 at 2:57 PM

    • I thought so too but once again – this morning she shows no signs of imminent birth. Her second due date is next week so maybe she will go a few days yet c

    • And when they say – laughing- don’t get mired in the mud – that is not a joke – this morning with the Seven plonkers milling about trying to knock down the buckets I found myself so far sunk in the mud my boots were NOT moving though my feet were but without my boots. I laughed – stuck in the mud – all by myself – and this is not clean mud – in the end I had to THROW the grain out to the bad pigs and rock myself out while they were otherwise engaged. Oh for the streets of Milan! Even in the rain. c

  6. Morning, morning Celi!! as kids growing up we were always describing a mess: “it’s a sow mess”!!! anything out of order ~ whether it was our bedroom or whatever ~ “it’s a sow mess!!” So ~~ I think you have a sow mess at the farmy!!!!!!! have a good one!! glad you didn’t fall down in the manure sow mess trying to work your way out!!!!

  7. Rotten, nasty grey weather… BUT… so much excitement knowing that spring AND BABIES are around the corner.
    I just LOVE the way you describe things – and how you put into words what Shelia was thinking when you were trying to coax her into the root cellar. Sounds like a good child’s book right there!! ‘The Shelia Series’!!
    My favorite part – “There are monsters in there, she called. Get out, she said. I am not going down there. The stairs are slippery. It smells funny. It is too early for bed” !!!!! ; o )

  8. Sheila looks so pretty when she’s not covered in mud… but covered in mud she just looks like — well, she looks like a pig! I bet she misses her chorus of cows that she spent the winter with. And Alex does look pregnant, but doesn’t she always look like that with her barrel chest?
    We had snow last night. It has all melted today, thankfully, but still very wet and none too warm. Hope your day is a good one. ~ Mame 🙂

  9. Sounds like my excuses for not going under the house to check the plumbing! Sheila and I have a lot in common when it comes to monsters, dark places underground, and ‘funny’ smells. Ahh – Love that little girl!

  10. That is a professional stink eye, and I imagine, the same look Sheila would give if we could see her eyeballs. I’m currently in Quito, Ecuador and its cool and drizzly here. Hopefully we will see a little sunshine here and there. It gives you hope. Good luck with all your gestating beauties!

  11. In your dotage, Cecilia, I hope you write a handbook of helpful hints for farmers. Just the idea of putting on lights so Poppy is used to them ahead of time and so you can see; moving Sheila out so she doesn’t disturb Poppy–doing this ahead of time. Your hints would be so extraordinarily valuable to new farmers (and probably plenty of old ones). Your foresight is remarkable.

  12. Sheila looks just like my chickens this morning, after I released them onto the mud flats left behind from receding flood waters…..’what, you want us to put our dainty claws into that smelly mess’? Yes, chickens, because I’m sick of you pooping on my verandah, upsetting the cats and dog trying to steal their food, and stressing Mirrhi who is frantically trying to keep you out of the house. Oh and the mud, yes, sick of that too!

  13. Mud is the name of the game here in Noo Zeellund at the moment, so much rain for so long, and every road in here at Coromandel is constantly being cut off with huge mud slips as the cliffs subside waterlogged and filled with clay and trees across the roads… detours the other night meant an extra two hours to get home…
    I hope your mud dries out soon…

  14. Not hardly any mud here, lots of water though. Flowing down the cement alley, down the asphalt and gravel driveway, down the front sidewalk, down the buildings then collecting in lakes on the street to where it’s flooded and almost impassible. Smoky is glad we don’t have to wipe his paws now since we don’t have the mud from the dog yard. All the water is doing damage under all that pavement, it comes to the surface for days after a rain and flows downhill. I remember my father saying that the people who did the construction on these buildings didn’t properly prepare the hill, didn’t sink the right kind of foundations to handle the future drainage, he was right. I think I would rather deal with the mud. My uncle who had the hatchery used to keep old 2″ x 12″ boards and would lay them down from the gates to the feeders and waterers for when it was muddy. I suppose the pigs wouldn’t leave the boards alone though. Sheila is such a lovely character.

  15. I was told that chewing a bit of parsley will cut the garlic breath. You could pass that on to Sheila, in case in the airless dungeon at night her own breathing induces dreams of garlic monsters.

  16. my goodness what a rascal that Sheila! and your photos with comments were hysterically funny! Have a lessmuddy day!

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