Whoops, hadn’t realised it had been so long since I’d last written a blog. It’s partly the summer effect: our holiday cottage and carp fishing business is in full swing, and the hot weather means a lot more watering of animals and veggies has to be done. Oh yes, and the pool is particularly tempting now that it’s a toasty 25+ degrees. On top of that various children have needed delivering and picking up, including Caiti to Limoges airport to go and work abroad for a while, and Rors from school since his teachers seem to disappearing at an alarming rate, leaving him with ever fewer lessons. And there’s been lots of editing to do too.
The daft thing is there’s been loads to blog about – battling butterflies, a hoopoe bird hanging around, a kingfisher on a windowsill, the haymaking has started, Caiti in Ilfracombe, particularly stressful shopping, not to mention… piglets!
Yup, good old Rosie safely delivered eleven piglets in early June.
There are six females, and five males. The first three to be born got names from Ruadhri – I think they were Slimey, Slurpy and Julius – and luckily it’s only the last one of these that’s stuck. Julius is a whopper of a piglet with a white stripe at the base of his back and another on one leg, on top of the usual Berkshire markings.
They spent the first week in the stable, enjoying the heat lamp when they weren’t suckling from Rosie, although they had to relinquish it briefly so I could thaw out a turkey that had gone for a swim in the duck pond and gone into hypothermia.
Now they’re outside, and loving it. They spend all day rooting and playing, although their main interest is sneaking an extra drink from Rosie whenever possible. She stoically throws herself to the ground regularly to allow the youngsters to swarm over her and swear at each other at designated meal times. It’s chaos! But the babies can reach her teats easily when she’s standing up now so she’s rarely free from at least one hanger-on at any time.
Rosie’s sister Portia has still yet to conceive. She went walkabout recently, turning up in the garden just after 7a.m. having spent the night stuffing herself with soaked grain from the pig food bin and investigating the polytunnel.
She shoved her way through the closed door – literally – uprooted our fig tree and a lot of sweetcorn and garlic, left some pig-shaped smears against the walls (as if there wasn’t enough incriminating evidence already) before going off to scoff some pig crumb from the stable. She had tummy ache for about a day and a half and hardly moved. Serves her right!
She’s being good at the moment, and the piglets are being very cute so all’s well with our happy hogs. And blogs.