Updated: Jun 6, 2020
Here we are in June; the weather has turned hot and mud bathing has become an essential part of the day’s playtime. The piglet pond, which served so well when the piggies were small, is now a quagmire as they roll and push themselves around in the mud, covering their skin in their own particular kind of sun screen!
If mud face packs are considered efficacious for the skin then these guys are getting it in spades - literally!!
The piglets are now seven months old and have become a force to reckon with… they have grown taller, broader, stronger and yet remain calm and best of all don’t push me around as their mother’s did. That is seriously good news.
The only issue is how to fill their mud bath and keep the water in situ as one of their favourite antics is to push through the banks that I endeavour to create; their strong snouts forcing breaches in the barricades which encase the water. And I stand frustrated and close to tears watching the water rush away into the field. Well, I mutter, you are not getting any more water in there. Well, not until I have rebuilt the banks and sought reinforcements to stem the tide. In the meantime the whole thing gets muddier and the pigs get muddier and it suddenly dawns on me that they probably like that even better.
To keep even the muddy puddle that they seem to enjoy still requires some water as the sun will bake it dry within a couple of days, and, as I fill the said pig bath from our bore hole, letting water run away is definitely not on the agenda. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had enjoyed copious amounts of rain over the winter, filling the dams and soaking the land which drains down into the aquifers. But we didn’t. Our area of the Alentejo seems to have missed out on the rain that fell further north.
What to do? Call in help from our kindly neighbour, who has more health and strength than I to create water defences of a more permanent kind seems the only option. But even that I doubt will last for long… never underestimate the strength of a pig!! This is clearly going to be an on-going dilemma…