On Saturday we set off into the wide blue sky to purchase three little piggles that will be living with us for the next few months. We had seen pictures but really nothing can prepare you for the cuteness of a naughty, snuffly, black and white piggle.
As you may have noticed these are not exactly the same breed of pigs we had last year. Last year we went with Large Black pigs from a local farming friend, but he told us at slightly short notice that he had no pigs for us this year, disaster!
Luckily we were able to find the breeder of these beautiful Berkshire pigs, still a rare and heritage breed and they may well have more piglets in the fall that we can raise up for breeding. I have to admit these little guys have captured my heart, they are so full of curiosity and sparkle, the thought of breeding more of them in the future fills me with delight.
For now these gorgeous bundles are housed in what we refer to as the ‘isolation area’, a fenced area within the main chicken pasture. It’s not too large so they can feel safe but certainly not too small either. They will remain in there while we build the new summer pasture and summer housing for our laying flock, when they move out the boys will move into the main chicken pen (which is fenced but we’ll also add electric fencing for extra security!) and rotate it for us. When they are done we’ll reseed to renew the pasture for the chickens next year.
As well as being fantastic providers of meat pigs really are such a huge asset to any farm. They turn earth, fertilise it and renew it for the following spring, their gifts to us are many. In return we aim to give them the best life we can, yummy food, plenty of fresh air and sunshine, wallows for hot days and fresh straw beds for the cooler ones.
Now that we have these little guys to look after (as well as new meat birds, baby chicks and even some ready to lay girls en route) things are getting busier on this farm of ours. Spring and even summer seem to have simultaneously sprung keeping us moving and busy throughout the day. Fernwood Farm is full of life once more, just the way we like it.