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Games and activities for pigs

Tuesday 18 May, 2004

by Rosemary at 9:33pm in Pigs 2 comments Add your own

Today the pigs got a new toy! It's called a "Snak a Ball". It's actually a horse toy, but the pigs haven't read the box and seem to like it. Basically, it's a big red ball that you fill with pig nuts. As the pigs roll it around, the pig nuts fall out and get eaten.

They're really getting the hang of it. If they'd had it a couple of weeks ago they might have made Sven's squad. The dogs think it's pretty neat too. It we had a third dog, they could play three a side. They won't let Dan play because he's not good enough and eats too many of the nuts.

Tamworth Breeders' Group

Saturday 24 April, 2004

by Dan at 8:13am in Pigs 3 comments Add your own

We've had a number of enquiries lately from people looking to buy Tamworth weaners, or looking for more information about the breed. The best first point of contact is the Tamworth Breeder's Group:

Tamworth Breeders' Group, Broad Leaze, Boyton, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 0SS. Tel: 01985 850208.

In the short term, if anyone is looking for weaners we know of a breeder in Biggar who has piglets available which were born last weekend. Contact us or leave your details in a comment and we'll put you in touch with him.


Saturday 3 April, 2004

by Dan at 7:06pm in Pigs 0 comments Add your own

The last of the pork from last year's Tamworths was defrosted overnight, in readiness for the weekend's main event - sausauge making. Over the past few weeks we've gathered together everything we needed: 2 sizes of casings, from the Natural Casing Company; a nozzle attachment for our Kenwood Chef; acidophilus from the health food shop in Stirling; and finally a good sized gigot and rolled shoulder from the freezer. We'd also identified our recipes, one for pork sausages and one for salami, both from the River Cottage Cookbook.

Pig & Hen in perfect harmony

Wednesday 31 March, 2004

by Dan at 8:55pm in Pigs 0 comments Add your own

Hens following the rootling pigThe pigs are doing just fine. They sleep a lot more than last year's, but make up for lost time when they're awake. The pen is already well-turned, and by July should be pretty clean, ready for sowing a green manure and maybe some spuds.

The main worry when planting potatoes on newly cultivated grassland is usually wire worm, but we should be okay - the hens, canny creatures that they are - have taken to following the ploughs that are the pigs, snatching any beasties that are unfortunate enough to be exposed by those powerful snouts.

Pig planning

Monday 15 March, 2004

by Dan at 6:52pm in Pigs 0 comments Add your own

It's nice to have pigs around the place again. Apart from the satisfaction of watching them turn over a large piece of ground where we can grow veg next year, saving me a sore back and blistered hands, they are such friendly, lively animals. This lot, being a good bit older than our two last year, and used to dogs thanks to Holly, already follow us around inquisitively and love a good scratch.

Now we've got them we need to start thinking about the when, how, and who of their eventual departure. That means seeking out those potential customers who last year expressed an interest in buying pork from us but for whatever reason missed out, and offering more to those who did buy last year (but who might still have half a freezer full!), and giving the butcher an early warning of the likely date for the carcasses to arrive.

Meet the gang 'cos the boys are here

Sunday 14 March, 2004

by Dan at 8:07pm in Pigs 0 comments Add your own

New Tamworths on arrival at LongcarseHere are our new arrivals, the 3 Tamworth boar weaners we picked up from Dumfries today. Everything went very smoothly, and we had a great time at the breeder's farm meeting their animals, including some gorgeous Golden Guernsey goats, Ryland sheep and of course Tamworth pigs.

Our pigs have settled in already - after a quick scout around the perimeter of their new home looking for potential weaknesses in our defences they set to rooting and grazing, met the dogs, had a feed and eventually found their way into their ark shortly after dusk.

A date with 3 pigs

Saturday 6 March, 2004

by Dan at 7:12pm in Pigs 3 comments Add your own

No, not a Saturday night out in Alloa, but confirmation that next Saturday we'll be tootling down to Dumfries to collect our 3 tamworth weaners. They are all boars, and have been described bythe breeder as a huge fat one, a normal one and a wee skinny one (who is skinny because he spends feeding time sucking the ears of the other pigs). Sounds like they will fit in with our other disfunctional animals just fine.

The gender isn't terribly important since they won't be reaching sexual maturity. We had 2 gilts (females) last year, so it will be nice to bolster the number of males around the place this year - what with a dozen hens, 2 border collie bitches, a female cat and a wife and daughter us men (myself and 2 of the cats) need all the support we can get...

Roast pork

Thursday 29 January, 2004

by Dan at 5:43pm in Pigs 0 comments Add your own

One of the reasons we keep pigs is of course to eat their meat. It's hard to describe how much better than your average, intensively farmed supermarket pork our own organic, free range Tamworth pork tastes. So rather than try here's a snap of the rolled shoulder we had earlier this week - as good cold the next day with pickled shallots and beetroot as it was hot with the juices running and the crackling crisp and light.

Roasted rolled shoulder of pork

Pig fencing & chook ark

Saturday 24 January, 2004

by Dan at 5:06pm in Pigs 0 comments Add your own

The weather has been kind to us lately considering the time of year, so today I've managed to dig holes for the 20 fence posts for the extended pig pens. The ground was easy to dig - not so wet as to be a quagmire, but soft enough that the only problems were the odd stone, piece of wire and a couple of boulders. Tomorrow I'll set the posts in concrete, making sure that the bottoms are surrounded with gravel to assist drainage - the last thing you want with wooden stobs is the bottom encased in concrete, since rainwater will have nowhere to escape to and the post will rot. Next weekend if they have set well we'll hire a nailgun and attach the rails, build and hang the gates and staple the sheep netting.

Pig preparation

Sunday 18 January, 2004

by Dan at 9:43pm in Pigs 2 comments Add your own

On Friday we returned from a short break in the Lake District to find an email from a farm in Dumfries which has Tamworth weaners available. As previously mentioned our source of last year's weaners had told us before Christmas that they would have no litters this year, and we were struggling to find another source close enough to be practical. So Rosemary placed a wanted ad in the Smallholders Online newsletter and lo and behold it looks to have done the job. Dumfries isn't exactly local, but the 3 hour journey each way in our old Land Rover will be well worth it.

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