Saturday, April 26, 2014

Porky and Bess.

Today saw us up at the crack of dawn, well not really, but for us very early. It was piglet collection day.
Several friends had said that it would take about three hours to get to where the piglets were, but in fact the journey was simple and quick, taking us just one hour forty minutes, which was in fact ten minutes quicker than Goole maps had said. We met the breeder at a garage in his town, garages in Ireland seem to be the main meeting points, we of course were over an hour early for our appointment but it was not a problem, we then followed Richard, the breeder, to his farm a few miles out of town. We had a choice of piglets and settled on two ten week old gilts, Tamworth X Saddleback.
After the initial shock of being grabbed and bundled into a very large dog kennel the piglets soon settled down, but not before they had tossed straw all over themselves, and had a good root through it. They then bedded themselves down under a duvet of straw and slept for the entire journey to their new home.
Warm and snug.
Once we arrived they were transported to their run, still in the kennel  where they were quite happy to stay,
One eye open.
it took them about half an hour to venture out, squeals and grunts of pleasure as they started rooting. Then the dogs came over to investigate. Tess is fascinated but a little confused, I'm sure she expected them to bark, all she got was a grunt and a definite look of distain.
Our old dog Robbie however greeted them with a growl and a bared tooth, yes, tooth, being as old as he is he only has one tooth, poor old chap. Piglets have now found that electric fencing bites, so we are hopeful that we will not have any escape attempts, but knowing pigs this is something we cant take for granted, but we can hope.
Just five minutes work.
They have been given their supper but are far more interested in rooting, clearly they are energy saving rotovators.
We have been very impressed with the efficiency of the Department of Agriculture dealing with our pig licence application.  The application forms arrived the day after we had applied for them, despite there being a long bank holiday weekend, we had our inspection on Wednesday, just one week after sending the forms in, on Thursday we were issued with our herd number, by phone, with all the associated paper work arriving on Friday. The efficiency might be something to do with our local office closing down, with the loss of jobs for all the clerical staff. All paper work will now come from a different county, Cavan. I have my doubts if this will lead to greater efficiency, and it certainly means yet more money being taken out of the local economy.
On our travels we went through some very pretty country side, Bluebells and Garlic Ransoms are already out down country.
 We spotted a very pretty Irish thatched cottage, a different style of thatching to where we live,
and some interesting modern metal sculptures,
unfortunately we couldn't get very good photos of them as it was a very busy road
                                                 and it was raining.
Tess our Golden lab has a new best friend, she had been friends with one of our old cats Emily, who sadly died at Christmas. Tess was very sad at the time as they used to play together, however, Felix, our young black and white boy has decided that he prefers Tess to the other cats, one of them , we are not too sure who, caught a mouse,
Felix and Tess took turns in playing with the poor mouse, neither wanting to eat it, just to play.   


  1. Well done! We are still waiting for our piggies - as far as we know they have not been born yet! They are due here about July/August.

    1. We had spent several weeks looking for the breed we wanted, I was set on GOS but doing some reading Simon decided that Tamworth X Saddleback would be the ideal for what we wanted, besides we felt we couldn't justify rearing pure bred just for slaughter, we also wanted to get them so they would be finished whist the grass was still growing ready for the next lot next year, hence bring forward our plans by a few weeks.

  2. Gah! The anti-spam checker on blogspot has gone back to the alpha character version which is always impossible to read. For a couple of months there it was doing numerals, which are a sight easier. You may find you get fewer comments for a while.

  3. Oh my goodness, I am so excited you found your pigs, great news! So good you didn't have to travel too far in the end either. How are they settling in?? I can just imagine Robbies gummy growl and Tess' excitement. Lovely Tess has a new best friend, we miss her...and you two lots! Hope the pigs settle in well and there are no escape attempts xxx

  4. The pigs are real cute and are now responding to us, they have learnt how to remove the plug out of their drinking bowl, the friend who gave us that came over today to see them, 'why have they removed the plug?' she asked, well what can I say, pigs are clever and will try anything new! Already they have cleared the whole of the perimeter of vegetation, without the electric fence I think they would have made a bid for freedom, not because they don't like where they are, just because they are pigs and pigs like a challenge.!

  5. Yeah, pigs at last - i love pigs and grew up with them. We often raised the piglets by hand as we did with potty calves.