The little ones are now marching steadily into their sixth week on the planet and are growing chubbier and chubbier by the day!
Sauce is doing a great job of mothering and feeding them, whilst Scoffers has mastered the art of being big sister, playmate and surrogate mother. In fact we have slipped into calling her Mini-Mum as that increasingly seems to be her roll.
These piglets are a sturdy and intrepid bunch without a poor or small one amongst them. And, more to the point they are inquisitive as no piglets I have ever had before. Our electric fence normally delivers a small piglet sized shock which keeps them ensconced in the pig paddock without any drama. Once they have caught their rear or, dare I say, occasionally their nose on the wire they generally don’t tangle with it again.
However, these piglets are half true Alentejano Black Pig stock and they clearly come from sterner stuff! No wire is going to worry them in their endeavour to explore, dig and then snooze under a cork tree if that is what they want to do!
There are four particular black and white piglets that regularly scoot out under the wire and head off in any direction that seems to please them. In fact, as I write this I am eyeing up this small troupe scavenging for acorns under a nearby oak tree.
I was originally alerted to their antics as I saw their mother with a worried expression standing by the fence looking in my direction. Then I noticed the scampering babies heading up to the house, who knows what they thought they were up to, it might have been a spot of luncheon from the pig bucket, or just the glee of running about but, as soon as I started walking towards them, they dashed back darting under the wire to the safety of their mother’s copious milk bar and welcoming temperament.
However, escaping has become a regular practice and, as Keith and I sat by the lake last evening enjoying a glass of wine, the intrepid piglets came tearing along the bank of the lake and plopped straight into it! We were astonished and so too were our dogs, Ella and Zara. Springer Spaniels are not renowned for their herding instincts but they were soon off to join in the frolics and after a bit of encouragement have become rather good herders of piglets.
As a result the little squeakers were soon heading back to barracks with a skip in their step, a smile on their snouts and suitably exhausted as they were tucked up in their beds.
It’s hard to believe that they will be looking for good homes in a couple of weeks time… so anyone reading this blog who is thinking of keeping pigs now is the moment to get in touch with me via the contacts page!