Every now and then we have to talk of “country matters.” Molly came into heat yesterday and Manu was invited to “visit”. c
I was concerned that Molly only had three piglets last time so after I dropped her in with Manu for a conjugal visit I began to overfeed her to bring her into a strong heat. I figured that we used to flush Ewes this way by putting them in a good field leading up to breeding and it seems to have worked with Molly. Though we will see if it increases her numbers.
Her heat came on so strong and his visits have been so frequent in that 12 hour period that he rubbed the hair off her back and sides and even scratched her up a bit with his hooves. He would not mean to have done this. Sex in the pig kingdom is very gentle. These are large beasts. She would not let him mount until she was quite ready and in “standing” heat. So there is no cohersion or struggle or noise.
So, now I feel confident in writing yesterday down as her breeding date. If I am right and all goes well, she will produce her piglets in three months, three weeks and three days. And sows are usually TO the day – so it is very useful knowing when her farrowing day might be.
There was a heifer on the wrong side of the fence when I went over to feed them yesterday afternoon. Tia, who is growing into a big girl, had somehow escaped from her field. The cows are getting as desperate for green feed as I am for them to get green feed. She was easy enough to get back in and now they are locked up on the concrete pad eating hay and being patient while the grass grows.
Above: the sprouts and Poppys dinner. Rice, sprouts and apples with a flake of hay. Nice.
The sprouts are in three tiers now. I can fit under the shower as long as I move carefully and so far the sprouts are growing well without any sign of mould. There is good air circulating in that room so I have not used bleach (which by the way is approved by the organic council – a group of lobbyists I have no faith in at all) or anything else to sterilise the seeds. With these small amounts of seed I can give them a good wash before they begin the sprouting cycle.
No hanging the washing out today. We have winds gusting up to 50mph/80k in the Wind Advisory. Even with my New Zealand extra strong pegs half of it would end up in the Back Forty.
After today we plunge back into despairing cold for the next ten days. I am sure I am going to moan my arse off the entire time.
WEATHER: Windy but warmer. Wind Advisory until 5pm.
Saturday 03/31 50% / 0.04 in
Showers early then continued cloudy and windy in the afternoon. High 57F. Winds SW at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Saturday Night 03/31 0% / 0 in
Cloudy early, becoming mostly clear after midnight. Low 23F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.
6:37 am 7:16 pm
Full, 100% visible 7:37 pm 7:01 am
PS I looked back to the post exactly a year ago and it seems I was worried about it dropping below freezing one year ago with Molly close to having her piglets on that day too. It seems there is a sweet date in the winter that Manu and his wife of the moment like to discuss country matters.