Earlier this month we bought 2 pigs, a sow and a boar. They are Large Black pigs, a native, rare and traditional British breed of pig, and are living up to their name!
They were larger than we expected, only just squeezing into the trailer we had sent for them to travel in.
As soon as we unloaded them they had escaped, in different directions!
Seeing them on the croft was magical, they added a new energy and dynamic to our animal collection. They would become ecosystem engineers, rooting up areas and creating bare soil. We’ll sow seed in some places and let nature take its course in others. And, of course, make the most of pre-dug tattie patches!
2 days later Betty went on a 1km walk to the West Coast after excapig their pen!
2 weeks after arriving, one evening we went to get them in from their paddock, but Betty the pig wouldn't come out of their daytime shelter. We were running late for dinner at a friends, so left her to it, thinking she would be ready to cosy up in the barn by the time we got home later that evening.
We arrived home around 9pm, and head straight to get Betty in. She was still in the shelter, and we thought maybe she could be under the weather. I peered inside to see 8 tiny piglets! We couldn’t believe it. We had no idea she was pregnant. Though in hind sight it is easy to see the signs.
Olly and I ran around like headless chickens for the first hour or so, speed reading our pig-keeping books and running extension cords to power heaters into the small shelter Betty had chosen to farrow in.
We stayed up several hours to ensure they were all warm and well, and that Betty didn't squash any of her piglets. In the morning we moved them into the byre, a much bigger space and less draughty.
2 weeks ago we didn't have any pigs.... now we have 10!