It’s been an interesting few weeks for us at Hathor Farm. On Saturday we said goodbye to Chips the Large Black boar who has spending the last two months with us at Sacred Earth. His bloodline, called Defender, is one of the two rarest in the UK. He and Colette, one of the sows, hit it off straight away and the results of their amour are due in about eight weeks. Chips was generally a well behaved guest – I thought he was quite a pretty boy and particularly liked the double curl in his tail – but he couldn’t resist trying to steal food from the girls if I didn’t keep an eye on him!
However, before the fruits of Chips’ loins make an appearance, in mid July our other sow Julia will have her second litter. This will be a brood of Middle White piglets, another very rare breed. I am expecting something in black and white, with odd little snouts and crooked ears. They will perhaps be slightly less than attractive and adorable and at the same time! This cross should result in piglets that do very well outside, are very friendly, and stay lean with an excellent flavour to the meat. I can’t wait to see them, and have already prepared the place where they will be born, making sure the spot they will be pushed out into the world is clean and hygenic. Julia is already breathing like a very pregnant lady.
Around the same time that Julia’s labours reach their culmination, the young pigs from the Winter litters will move to pastures new – a fallow field where they will have a splendid time digging up weeds and ploughing the ground for us. The field where they’re currently residing will then be put to grass, which should be a huge improvement after the overgrown state it was in before. We might still get a cut of silage or hay from it this year and then perhaps sheep will be introduced to graze there next year.
This coming weekend I am getting a vintage little livestock trailer to help me transport straw bales and move animals around the land. A trailer is fairly essential actually – I don’t know how I’ve managed so far! Let’s hope it stays in one piece during it’s three hour journey to the land! In a month or two the Winter litter will be ready and the trailer will be used to transport them to their final destination. I am glad I will have the honour of driving them myself. They are after all my responsibility.
In other news, the Sussex chickens are doing fine and look almost fully grown, so every day I’m checking to see if they’ve started laying. They are beautiful chickens and I plan to hatch a few more this year.