I have shifted Molly out of the back field. Poppy just would not let Molly settle in the field down the back. Molly often had scratch marks and bloody noses from getting into battles with Poppy. These are two big sows so when Poppy goes for Molly it is terrifying.
Usually this all settles down after a few days but here we are weeks after Molly went in with Poppy and Sheila and these huge animals will not be friends. I am afraid they are getting used to fighting which is not a good pattern to get into. I don’t want Poppy to get used to being mean.
Then I saw that Sheila had taken over Molly’s house and Poppy would not let Molly in the root cellar. So Molly was sleeping outside.
It has been a long time since they all lived together these three big girls and I finally called it. Most of the time they are fine but every day there was at least one or two altercations. Molly never fights back just runs. Often bleeding. I got sick of it.
I opened the gate and the first one to come out was Molly so that made my decision.
Molly is my best mother and so I brought her across and settled her in the milking room for this week. She set about making herself an enormous bed and the whole farm sighed with relief. I will do some reshuffling on the West Side and take her over there after her next heat.
The boar, Manu, lives on the West Side and he is an enormous animal. Gentle and biddable but if he has a sow in heat through the wall he only needs to lean on that barn to break it down. So there is always a risk that the boar will break through and breed a sow too early. This is why I keep the the wives on the house side.
January is OK. So we have a few weeks to go. It will be really inconvenient for everyone having Molly in the middle of the barn. I have to lock down the three Grumpy Old Pigs so I can bring Molly out for a toilet break and a walk in the sun twice a day but there you are – we will manage.
And you should see Molly’s bed. She has carried every stray piece of straw into one corner and has a lovely bed.
This does change my rotation, Molly going in with Manu first, but this way she can establish ownership of Manu’s territory. Then when I put Poppy in there 6 weeks later the odds will be a bit more even. And hopefully they settle together over there for the cold months.
In fact speaking of breeding I need to take 73 and 84 the Angus Mamas across to the bull next month, for fall calves next year. I had better set that up.
I hope you have a good day.