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An away day?

Karen and I are going to have an away day at the weekend. I'm dragging the poor girl off to Shropshire, to have a look at some young Large Black boars. Yes and before any clever wagg says that one bore in the family is enough, yes I know it is.  
I'll be taking the camera and treating Karen to a meal out while we're on our travels but only if they have some healthy options on the menu. Otherwise, it'll be back home for some more beans and lentils.

Where are you both off to?

Whitchurch in Shropshire.

Nice part of the country. We got some Oxford Sandy and Blacks from up that way many years ago. Our slaughter house refused to take them as they were coloured! went to another place and no problem. The latter is still going strong the former closed down with a lot of very disgruntled farmers!

There's an abattoir not too far from here that wont take coloured pigs.

Anyway, there's been a slight change in plans. The bloke who was supposedly having my Matty the boar just phoned up this afternoon. " Do you mind if I don't have the boar but have one of the gilts instead?"

The boar served the last of the three gilt today. I think I'll keep him and go down the AI route for the black gilt when the times right. I'll still go and have a look at the Large Black boars on Saturday though.

I'd liked to have passed Matty on but he does seem to be doing a good job.

I'll just have to wait now to see if the chap goes through with his promise and has the gilt. I don't want to have to keep all three gilts but two are better than one. It means that they can stop in the same field together.
At the moment the two older sows that I keep have never run together and I'm not over keen on the thought of them fighting like mad, so I've always kept them separate.

Famous last words but the torrential rain that was forecast is as yet to materialise, so we may very well have our day out today. Otherwise the small amount of common sense that's within me says that we should have a day indoors and start decorating.
The nice thing about our visit, is that because the sale of our current boar has dropped through, I'm under absolutely no pressure to purchase and that means that I'm very much in a buyers market rather than a sellers.

We braved the weather on Saturday and had our away day. I'll be picking up the result of our trip either tomorrow or on Wednesday. After quite a bit of wrangling and with the vendor and not a little soul searching on my part, I decided to have a September born gilt.

All the sow lines in the Large Blacks breed are pretty rare but I chose to go with gilt from the Dianna line, which is particularly thin on the ground.

If you check out the breed survey, you'll see that numbers have rallied since last year. My task today, is to sort somewhere nice and cosy for her.

The observant amongst you will have noticed that there was a slight change in my plans and that instead of buying a boar, I've purchased a gilt instead. I've never been the most decisive of people but fortunately, the one day pig keeping course that I'm going on next Sunday covers a bit on artificial insemination.

Good luck with her

Time for a quick dust and scrub around my earholes and then I'm on my way.

It's a beautiful day here, still below freezing, but the Sun's shining

Have a good day out


Our new pig arrived at her new home at a round four yesterday afternoon.
She's a rather pale looking hairless September born LB gilt from the Dianna line. She's been kept totally indoors, unlike Connie, our July born Blackie gilt, whose been outdoors since day one.
They are a slightly different shape but more or less the same size. I'm sure that given a bit of fresh air and some TLC 'Iggy' our new piggy will soon grow some new hair and darken up. To be on the safe side, I gave her a shot of Eri vaccine and a dose of Bimectin before putting her into her enclosure.
She's got a nice warm ark with loads of straw to go into, here's hoping she finds it. It's going to be chilly tonight.
The first three photos are of Iggy and by way of contrast, the last one's Connie.
I'd like to thank Mr Jube Wickstead of Shropshire for letting me have such a nice shaped well grown pig. That's me done spending now.

As a footnote, I went to the pub quiz last night and at just before midnight I donned my wellies and went up the fields to check on Iggy and she still hadn't been in the ark, so I had to get into her run and guide her into it.


This morning she was fine and stuck her head out of the straw to see who it was. She tucked into a nice breakfast of piggy goodies but I'll be taking her a little bit more straw later on this morning. Last night was our coldest here of the winter so far.

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