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  • Anna

Thunder of Hooves

There have been a variety of excitements going on in our little self-sufficient smallholding in recent months. But nothing I felt warranted your time or attention. I can’t believe you are interested in the fact we rescued a couple of adorable alley cats, who are fast learning how to become farm cats; even though I am mesmerised by their beauty and cuddliness!

However, you might be more interested in hearing about Maxi-Mum’s thundering hooves. As those of you who have read my blogs over the years will know, she is a marvellous mother to beautiful piglets and a benign and kind presence in our lives. Her daughter Mini-Mum, who had her first litter last December, is fast catching on to the whole breeding thing and has always been a sweet if not rather noisy addition to our breeding stock.

The latest brood of piglets has now gone and the two mums are alone once more to enjoy the long, hot days of summer. A piggie swimming pool sees them luxuriating in the water as the little frogs hop in and out, dodging the great bulk of their bodies.

The normal course of events is relatively calm and lugubrious. So imagine my surprise this morning when, after they had enjoyed a great bucket of breakfast, I gave them both a couple of apples and headed off to fill up their water trough. As I sauntered down the pigpen, I realised there was the thunder of hooves behind me. I turned to see Maxi-Mum racing rapidly towards me. She charged me.

I dodged out of the way, yet she still came after me. I stopped and told her in no uncertain terms that this was not good behaviour. She was not interested in my point of view and we had an argument until I realised discretion was the better part of valour and legged it. I could hear her hooves pounding the ground behind me as I ran towards the electric fence. I jumped it and turned to see her sliding to a halt on the other side of the flimsy but effective wire.

Little did she know that in the heat of the day, the electric shock going through the wire is reduced to almost nothing. She could easily have been upon me, all 150 kilos of pig with sharp and effective jaws! What a lucky escape!

Of course she and Mini are currently in season and hormones are running high - doesn’t that show how an overdose of oestrogen can turn a usually benign presence into a monster. I have recently written a piece on my other website, about the female cycle and how understanding it can help us navigate our moods, emotions and physical wellbeing. Gracious me, it applies even to pigs and why on earth wouldn’t it!!!!

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