Sunday, 9 March 2014

Piggy Blog Part 1: To begin at the beginning

I've always wanted to keep pigs but have never got around to it. However, conversations between various friends showed that a few of us had thought along the same lines so we decided to do something about it. Scroll forward a couple of months and today the group of us (we haven't got a name yet but I quite like The Brotherhood of Pork) finally did something tangible to start our pig keeping adventure. With the aim of buying in some weaners in April (young pigs which are no longer suckling) and fattening them up for slaughter in the late Autumn, we spent the day fencing off an area on DC's small holding.

Do we know a lot about pig rearing?: no. Have any of us kept pigs before?: no. Are we willing to learn?: yes. Can we built a fence?: yes (as the photographs below show).

The next question to be answered is: which pig to pick? We haven't decided that yet but I think we are leaning towards a traditional breed as the meat is reputed to taste better.  Cornish Blacks are definitely a possibility as we can buy them in from a breeder not too far from us. But democracy dictates that this needs to be decided by the group.  More of that later as I detail our journey from today to sitting down to our own pork/ham/gammon/sausages later in the year. And, before I forget, I must say that we have a name for 'our' pig already: it's going to be called Diesel. Named by Grandson #1 after a type of train in Thomas the Tank Engine. And why not?

Fence posts and ready for bracing and wiring.
How many men does it take to put a nail in? Four apparently.

A rather splendid example of a triple-braced post. Modesty prevents me from saying who was one half of the bracing team responsible for this.
They may be off somewhere exotic but I didn't envy them. There's nowhere quite like Cornwall when the weather's this good.
Lunch - bacon bap and leek and potato soup. Thank you Lyn, Hannah, Kathryn and Debs.
The pigs will have a fine view across to Devon and Dartmoor. Do pigs appreciate such things?
The other half of the bracing team having fun with a brace and bit, getting ready to fix a hanging bracket for a gate.
A finished stretch of fence - guaranteed pig proof. But just to be on the safe side, there will be a strand of electric wire to discourage any porcine pushing.
And another stretch. It's looking good. Mmmm, looks like I'm developing an unhealthy fascination with fences.
The Brotherhood of Pork looking pleased with ourselves after completing the job. Next step: getting the weaners in.

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