Every now and then we have to talk of “country matters.” Molly came into heat yesterday and Manu was invited to “visit”. cswinging-048

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.



39 Comments on “IN HEAT

  1. I know its Country Matters…and it made me smile as it sounded as though you were Madam of a harem.??Guiding your girls into sex… Only joking… Ah some lovely piglets in a short while that will be lovely.

    Poor cows..we have plenty of grass..send them over to me and they can graze my garden…

    Good thing l am not a farmer

  2. Manu, Molly and Poppy are such good pigs!
    It looks like the sprouts are growing much faster than grass. I don’t know if this is any use, but I believe LEDs have become very popular in hydroponics, because they are cheap to buy and run, with vey little heat produced.

  3. Love it! ‘Discussing country matters’ is going to be the new euphemism in this household 😉 I think I could use some of your extra strong pegs, or perhaps some of the stainless steel ones you can get from a company in the UK called Exquisite Scotland. They’re apparently incredibly strong and never rust, so they sound perfect for some of our windier days.

    • I am going to go find their site IMMEDIATELY! I need the strongest pegs ever out here! I have tried so many different ones (and left scathing reviews!) .. the ones my kids brought out from NZ last time are the best so far – OK OFF to look for Exquisite Scotland. c

      • Just read their page – these people are hilarious!! “Not for body adornment unless you have a very high pain threshold!!” Brilliant. I will store the site until I get some money coming in – I really do think these are the pegs for me – Thank you kate – great tip. c

        • I know! In the best tradition of British eccentricity 🙂 I’m thinking they’d stand up even to a cyclone, but I don’t propose leaving my laundry out in one of those…

    • Kate: a number of Australian on-line stores have stainless steel pegs: try Innovations for a start. They are more expensive but am happy with the ones I got.

        • *big smile* I have had a look and take your point: never seen any pegs thus shaped! And I admit my tree-lined back garden rarely gets winds of this strength as with you or Celi on the plains . . . .have a happy E Sunday !!!

  4. Wow, the sprouts look fabulous! Your pics have motivated us to do some sprouting for our animals too! 🙂 Big thanks for that!!! 🙂

    • That is great! And if your temperatures are rising you should be able to grow them outside very soon. I have learned that buying washed grains is better than straight from the mill. Do you have instagram? I will video the watering system this morning and put it on there – it really is working very well. c

  5. I’ve seen posts where people are spraying hydrogen peroxide to combat mold and unwanted pathogens with seed sprouting, Would be infinitely less toxic if that starts to show up/. Also cinnamon does this. Bleach is pretty darned toxic.

  6. This made me smile this morning. Country matters are life matters. I’m sorry about the cold and wind. We are getting so warm the bugs are breeding again. ;( The sprouts are looking wonderful. It’s good you are a tiny thing to share the shower with that huge rack. I am way too ample. Life! It just goes on no matter what.

  7. So pleased Manu and Molly are taking their country discussions more seriously this time. OK, my impatience might have got me again, my mung bean sprouts are climbing out the bottle and the brown lentils are being far more laid back. So to give the lentils another day, I had a big delicious scoop on top of my tomato and cucumber salad with a piece of fish for supper tonight. this will also not be the first time that I have looked at Poppy’s meal in envy, but hold the hay. Hmm, alfafa sprouts. By the way I rinsed my seeds with 3mls/ 500ml water of apple cider vinegar before soaking the first time, probably cost prohibitive for your quantities 🙂 Is that oats above? thanks for the motivation. Laura

  8. THAT SKY! What a beautiful blue! Looks like you took various shapes and sizes of cotton balls and pasted them in the sky! I feel I can touch them. Loved your discussion about ‘things ‘n’ such’ that matter and keep the world going ’round! Have a great weekend….

  9. What beautiful photos today C.! The sky, the clothes flapping in the wind, the sprouts close-up…I have been looking for shelves like the ones you just bought for your shower mate. 🙂 Can you put a link as to where you got it? Amazon?
    Poppy’s dinner looks good enough to eat! 🙂 Pun intended…

  10. Those sprouts look good enough to eat!! You are so clever. Where might I find good strong NZ clothes pegs? We are going to the South Island in about three weeks and I could bring some back. Mine are on the last legs…or pegs, or something. Is there anything I can send you from NZ? xx

    • Ardys: buy from Innovations on line – they have a number of very good clothes pegs but I do like the stainless steel ones I got! Happy Easter Sunday . . .

    • My kids buy them in the supermarket – so just cruise the aisles. My favourites are white spring loaded and a bit bigger than normal. I never kept the packet so i don’t know what they are called.

  11. Your sprouts are coming along beautifully! The animals must be so happy to have such fresh greens. It’s too bad that it infringes on your shower so much. Have you considered one of those greenhouses to grow the sprouts? I have seen them as small at 3′ x 5′. I hope it all works out in the long run.

    • I have a little glasshouse but it is Full to the Brim with stuff plus the humidity is a bit too high for sprouts. They are growing well in my shower though!

  12. Agree with others: those sprouts are coming along beautifully and the four-leggeds must be licking their lips 🙂 ! I have three jars of different seeds on my window sill not going ahead nearly as fast !!! Glad to hear some enjoyable hanky-panky has gone on whatever the weather outside!

  13. Again with the photographs! They tell their stories so well. The sprouts in the shower; the line of tiny trees beyond the clothes restless on their own line; the hairs standing up in the light on Molly’s back — stories to remember.

  14. I would very much like to hang out the wash (Despite the pollution) but the HOA I think would fine me.

  15. My two old horses (32 and 22) are locked in a pen surrounded on 3 sides by green pasture that’s already 18 inches tall. They cannot be out until the grass dries because they are prone to founder. One night they both broke out. I found them early in the morning, the younger one stretched out on his side, blissfully sleeping in the grass (I could barely find him) the older gelding was sucking up grass as quickly as he could manage with no teeth. It took a long time to get the older horse back in the pen, he galloped around with his tail up like a 4 year old, snorting and threatening to run us over. I feel so sorry for both of them, there’s nothing more wonderful than blue skies, sunshine, and a pasture so green it hurts your eyes.

    • Poor fellows! Horses are so much harder to manage. I have never had a horse I don’t think I would be brave enough. My cows would love your fields though. 32 is very old.

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