To breed or not to breed...

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Pig breeding is an exact science!

The gestation period of a pig is three months, three weeks and three days – which I can attest is usually pretty much spot on – one of the things you can actually rely on!

And, with this in mind, there are various things to be considered when getting a pig 'in piglet' - not least the season in which they are to be born.

My last lot of pigs had an amorous encounter with a black boar from the farm opposite when spring fever was in the air. This particular black boar scaled the fence, arriving kerplop in the pig paddock much to the entertainment of the girls, who were in season and feeling thoroughly frisky. I appeared on the scene much to their chagrin and dispatched the boar out of the gate and told him to go home. He gave me a sideways glance as he headed off slowly across the field opposite. But no sooner was my back turned than he had somehow made another daring entrance into forbidden territory. My husband arrived with extra fence posts; the boundary was checked for any possible points of entry as the handsome black boar was escorted, once again, out of the premises.

Believing all was safe we went inside for a cup of tea, only to look out from the kitchen window and discover that unbelievably our visitor was once again herding up the girls. Enough was enough! Girls were shut away in the smaller coral where they sidled up to the gate positively batting their eyelashes at the poor boar who stood the other side rattling the gate off its hinges.

I phoned the farmer who told me in Portuguese that regrettable though it was, he couldn't come and retrieve his pig until the following morning!

The girls were prancing, the gate was breaking and my nerves were fraying... at which point I gave in, opened the gate and stomped off leaving the three of them to do whatever came naturally.

The following morning our neighbour arrived to collect his pig and seemed a bit disgruntled to discover his prize boar appearing from the girls boudoir thoroughly tousled, with straw over his ears and eyes, whilst the girls were taking a leisurely mud bath and looking thoroughly pleased with themselves.

The piglets were born in July along with a whole heap of trouble. Babies were rolled on by their hot and over weight mothers, the local fox and mongoose worked out that a take away had opened just across the field and made nightly visits for their ‘dinner to go’!

And, amidst the stress of watching this all play out I fell and broke my wrist – so, when Bangers and Mash have piglets it is definitely going to be a winter thing.

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