Monday, 19 March 2012

More than I can chew?

I probably shouldn't post about this right now as there's a whole bunch of stuff that can go wrong yet, but...

Let's play pig farmer. Yay! You be the pig and I'll feed you swill...
...I can't wait. See I might be getting a little piglet in the near future and that's about the most exciting thing to happen this year (God, that's so sad, lol). But I don't care, I'm dead excited about it. And it's all your fault (those of you who have had pigs lately).

There's this plot of ground see, about 1/4 acre big opposite my plots which last year had some Jacob sheep roaming around on it. The guy who rents this field was going to get rid of it all this year but I stopped him one night and said, "Hey, don't be too hasty - hows about you and me keep some pigs for a pig keeping experiment this year?" Just said it, just like that, without actually really thinking it through properly and not expecting him to say yes at all. F**k me if he didn't bite my hand off!

So now there's three of us up there, all going to have a pig each. These pigs are for the table, so to speak, so the trend I have to warm to the animals I have will have to be tempered a bit. Quite a bit I would imagine.

Light reading. Sending it off is going to be tricky, I can see it now...
I've spoken to the pig breeder (Glouscestershire Old Spots) who says he has a litter of weaners that will be ready in about six weeks. Plenty of time to do some much needed POW stylie fencing, build a pig ark, sort the paperwork etc,.

What with the bees suddenly on the go and loads to do anyway over the busy Spring (and having to actually earn some money!) I should be ok provided I don't sleep until the end of Autumn.

Does viagra help keep you awake or just up all night?

;-)

33 comments:

John Gray said...

good for you christopher!
I hope I WAS the inspiration for the new venture!
our old spot gilt was a real bitch though!!!!
good luck that man!

Fiona@RowangarthFarm said...

Oh, so exciting!!! I, too, am thinking/dreaming about raising pigs (and I'm vegetarian! But the fam is not). Just this weekend I started clearing out a spot behind the barn that's perfect for two (one for us, the second to pay for the first!). But given everything else that is going on, I don't think I'll sleep until winter either...though my drug of choice will most likely be caffeine! Please keep us posted!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Now that is exciting! I've wanted a pig for a long while myself. I worry though, as a pack of wild dogs attacked my neighbor's calves and killed one of his sheep. So I'm not sure it's the best idea. But I do love some bacon....

Meggie said...

Many years ago I helped my daughter raise a pig for her ag project. It was fun. We even named the pig Petunia. But in the end, she had to be sold at auction. I've also thought about adding one to my menagerie at the farm.

Elaine said...

I love the photo, very clever! (Which one is you?)
I'm looking forward to meeting your little piglet. I won't be able to read the posts when you get to the other end of the adventure, but I'll just avoid those and enjoy the escapades and fun you have along the way. I hope it all works out.

Tom Stephenson said...

Bloody hell. Here we go.

Chris said...

John - of course!!! There's a few other bloggers out there who've kept pigs too that have helped make my mind up, like Carly, Crow, Jane etc, but your pigs looked the business.

We're having boars. We've been told the supposed taint to the meat is rubbish and they won't be over-wintered so they'll be gone before that is a real factor anyway.

Fi - That's great. We can swap pig stories like 'how I was nearly eaten by a randy pig' etc, etc. Keep us posted too!

Lisa - that sounds like a major worry. No wild packs of dogs here but the two legged variety are a potential issue. I've already nailed cctv signs all over the place and some decent fencing should sort out that problem. I hope you get some pigs soon though.

Meggie - you'll be another dab hand at pig keeping then (like John)! Great that your daughter got to have that experience.
I don't think I could sell him (unless I had to, God forbid). I always buy British pork as a rule (animal welfare standards are generally higher than say Danish for example) but I wanted to go further and KNOW that my pig had a good life and felt the sun on his back for a while.

Chris said...

Elaine - ha ha haha ha!

I used to have these farm toys as a kid. Made by Britains Petite, they are now rather collectable (since Britains went out of business). Hey, I used to shoot the photography for their brochures back in the eighties!

We've been asked about the possibility of having them despatched 'on site' to make it even less stressful for them but I'm not convinced yet. I'll give ample warning before their time is due love...

Chris said...

Tom - see what he's started! This is what happens when you read inspirational smallholding blogs like those on my blogroll (yours included haha!), you end up with pigs! Better make a space in your window box for a pig ark...

Molly said...

Not sad at all, I think it's brilliant, Chris. I like the pic too.

Chris said...

Molly - oh, I'm sad alright, lol.
The real 'farmer' model has this brown dubious feed in the bowl. What is that? I wouldn't eat it, that's for sure!

John Gray said...

chris
pigs are sensitive souls..
they couldnt cope with Tom's "moods"

acuriouscure said...

Oh, I hope it works for you Chris! (Go on and get us all excited like this before it's certain...you better do it now.) We don't have any room for big livestock here but buy our annual meat stocks from an organic farm up the street that raises the animals on site. The more news that comes out about pink slime and such...the more certain we are that the added cost is worth every penny! Can't wait to see pics of the babies when they come.

Cro Magnon said...

I've got the perfect spot for some pigs, right next to my arrogant neighbour's pool. But not too sure I could cope with them (a bit like the bees). Good luck; I look forward to future reports.

Chris said...

John - oh I don't know. I've come to believe there's a micro farmer in all of us trying to break free. Knee deep in mud and oomska.

Dia - yes the 'pink slime' doesn't sound too good does it.

This experiment is as much to see if I'm a pork eating hypocrite as anything else. If I can't do it (send them off in Autumn) I'm going to stop eating meat.

Cro - if you can form a cooperative, like we have, it should (in theory anyway) be easier. The work, expense, fencing, feed etc., is split three ways up here. Maybe your swimming neighbour could keep a pig with you?

Devon Mama said...

Good for you Chris, can't wait to hear about your adventures. We've always kept 2 or 3 (or 4) doing all the work for a sort of co-operative...we did all the care, feeding, buying, despatching, meat sorting, the others paid, or lent ground! Anyway, great way to feed yourself, GOS meat tastes superb, that's the breed we've always kept, super pigs. Just about to post about by foray into bacon and ham making, might be useful (or not, depending how it turns out lol) :)

Chris said...

Carly - that's great, I'll be over shortly then to see that process.

Are you making your own sausages too?

Good to have you and the others online so I can pick your huge pig-keeping brains...

terrycardiff said...

Book me in for a visit - sounds fab.

Chris said...

Terry - booked!!

Now about those fishes...

Melodie said...

What..you are getting pigs instead of goats! Just kidding,I could eat my weight in bacon!(Redneck women are allowed to admit that,lol) Best of luck with you pig adventure!

Chris said...

Melodie - if it were up to me (and I had the space) goats would definitely be amongst my menagerie.

They're coming, sooner or later! ;-)

Little Blue Mouse said...

If it was John who was the inspiration, what lured you the most? The thought of home grown pork or rolling in pig muck?

Jim said...

Push over John, here comes Chris! I can't wait to watch this adventure. Good luck Chris.

Chris said...

LBM - both! I don't mind getting muddied up as my mind is clean and pure.

Jim - thanks Jimbo. We really need to get started on the fencing and ark making. I'll make that myself and I'm rather looking forward to making that.

Crow said...

Coming up for air, and look what I missed! How exciting. You will be a true blue farmer for sure now. For the first few days you may want to keep piggy closed up in his pig house. Seems they like to make a run for it back to Mom when they are first separated. You need to teach them you are the new Mommy and this home. <3

Chris said...

Crow - you can sure hold your breath for a long time. Where have you been!!

I only I could be Crow, that would be a dream come true. Good advice re piggy, thank you.x

Hey, got the bees now too so go have a peek...

Crow said...

BEES! You beat me! Well I have them, I just need to move them onto boxes. Easy right? :x

Mitch Block said...

Jerry read this before I did and it made for fascinating dinner conversation last night! He has always wanted to raise pigs! I'm deathly allergic to bees (and I don't THINK he wants to raise those).

Regarding your question about Viagra, the answer I'm told is "yes."

Chris said...

Mitch- if he DOES decide to keep bees you'll know the relationship is over!

Thanks for answering that Mitch. I suppose 'a friend' told you that ;-)

e.m.b. said...

An Old Spot piglet...worthy of excitement for sure! Best of luck with it...and getting more sleep. ;)

in the coop said...

We started raising pigs a few years ago. In order to keep the kids from becoming attached and sad at butcher time, we named our first three hogs Pork Chops, Applesauce, and Leftovers.

Chris said...

Erin - I've decided to sleep when I'm awake, so it's a win-win.

Indiana - Hi! Great idea that but I think that will just make me feel worse like giving them a rosemary sprig hat. John Gray had a good idea by calling them by their defra numbers. Was still difficult for him.

DebH said...

You have an excellent take on everything and anything! You get loads of writing material when raising a pig. They are something alright! Can't wait to see and your too funny on the viagra..a perfect twisted wit...I love it!