Updated: Apr 16
The maternity wing has been prepared. The floor scrubbed, new hay strewn, special food for lactating mothers bought and an extra consignment of favourite apples procured.
The only thing that may surprise you, as it did me, is that Apple came into season a couple of weeks ago!
I had been beginning to think that she was looking chubby, but not round like her sister, who has a belly sinking so far down it could almost touch the ground.
And so, what this goes on to tells us is that firstly, she really is the greedy pig mentioned in the previous blog, secondly she needs to go on a diet and finally, that I need to separate expectant mum from non-expectant mum and small 6 month old piglet.
Hmmmmm… I mentioned last time my plan to separate what I thought to be two potential mothers and Scoff-a-Lot, so in a funny way this latest development makes things somewhat easier. The Tin Hut, which played such an important role as the Copa Cabana in the flurry of piglets last autumn, has been heaved out into the paddock for Apple and Scoffers. Whilst Sauce has been enticed into the pig pen where she has the brick house in which she gave birth last time and half an acre of land in which to prowl, dig, eat and of course enjoy bathing in the pig pond.
It has to be said that Sauce has looked rather frayed of late. Her brow is furrowed and the inevitable fracas with Apple at meal times seemed to be taking its toll. She strolled the pig paddock on her own, didn’t even snuggle up with Scoffers her piglet when they took an afternoon snooze and generally seemed a little out of sorts. So, I assumed (always a bad idea) that she would enjoy a bit of time on her own in preparation for giving birth. I imagined her luxuriating in the pig pond; stretching out with the piggie equivalent of aromatic essential oils, namely mud, oozing between her trotters without any hindrance or buffeting from the other two. Long nights with plenty of space all to herself and no fighting at meal times. However, it appears that I was wrong.
She stands by the gate to the pig pen looking forlorn. As I enter with her bucket of grub she considers making a dash for the paddock only to be lured back by the thought of what delicacies I may be awaiting her. Despite the extra apples I give her, cuddles and back massages, she is not impressed with the new regimen. Indeed Apple and Scoffers huddle by the gate to talk to her and the wall on the paddock side is going to need some serious renovation in due course where Apple has attempted to climb over.
Let her out - I hear you cry! I too thought the same thing. She is not due until next Tuesday a full four days away. But… once out will I ever entice her back in? And come piglet time she is definitely best on her own without inquisitive investigators coming to see what’s happening. She was a very protective mother first time around so once she has her brood I hope and, dare I say, assume, she will appreciate the confines that have been provided her.
So there we have it, It is official: the grass, or perhaps anything that is the other side of the fence, is always greener and more interesting.