Friday 12th May 2017
Out on grass!!
In the absence of our fencing man, we decided that one way or another, we simply had to get the pigs outside and on grass. They have been very happy in the field shelter and have discovered that despite the rubber matting they can still have a jolly good dig(!!) but, aside from the chore of daily mucking out, it is much healthier for them to be out and about in a paddock. Pigs love to dig and they get a lot of food that way, not just the grass but roots, tubers, small beasties etc. They are omnivores just like us and their diet has to reflect this. The supplementary feed we give them is thoroughly balanced but in keeping with our animal welfare principles, our aim is always to give our livestock the MAXIMUM type of environment we can which, where possible, includes the chance to free-range for their own - and varied – food. Even the sheep and alpacas enjoy a bit of browsing on top of the grass they eat, ditto the cows!
But back to the pigs: we dug out some stock fencing and using wire strainer ratchets, horse stakes and joining wire, we fashioned a line of fencing to run alongside the electric we had set up on 6th. We managed to get a fair amount of tension in it thanks to the ratchets and so it felt quite tight. Nonetheless we were a little nervous when we put the two pigs behind it in case we had a repeat of Sunday’s adventures when the little ‘angels’ ran straight through. Once again, the fence line was sniffed and then noses touched, there was a squeal and the piglets ran forward... this time though they met the stock fencing which resulted in a another squeal and then several more as it became obvious they could not escape and so had to turn around. Aside from feeling sorry that both piglets had just received several electric shocks, we were also mightily relieved!
It took both animals no time at all to recover and then, having demolished the pellets we gave them, both piglets suddenly began to eat masses of grass at a super-speedy rate, even jostling each other for the ‘tastiest’ bits…. (because of course in a huge paddock of over 500 square metres, there is only ONE really tasty bit…).
At our last check, the sounds of snoring could be heard emanating from the pig arc! It’s a hard life!!!