Well Mollie and I walked slowly and carefully around a few waterlogged fields today after the blacksmith replaced her lost shoe and we tried out our sheep gathering skills of a few lambs at walking pace. The lambs moved well into a corner of the field and Mollie seemed relaxed. All good, as I work to rebuild confidence in both of us after the shattering motor bike incident 10 days ago. The horse and I remained totally calm despite startling a muntjack deer in the hedge and the many pheasants were obviously loudly announcing that from Saturday they will be safe until next season.
Ruby, Jethro’s dairy heifer, gets bigger and bigger, and I begin to think she may have twins, although this is unusual for a heifer [first timer]. She ran with the bull from April 1st last year and was due anytime from 9th Jan, however it may have been during the second cycle that she conceived. We keep watching and waiting but she lies around more and continues to eat well. The phrase ‘a watched pot never boils’, certainly comes to mind.
It is often said out loud regarding the frequency of London busses [or even men when single] , when you need one there are none, and then all of a sudden three come at once. We have now had more Policeman than you can possibly imagine in the locality however I cannot go into all the details. Except to say that on the matter of the motor bikers everyone is working together from Parish to County level, the Police and the landowners. Gates, ditches and signs will all be tried in a combined effort to educate and restrict. I doubt they can be stopped but the frequency may be lessened. I will get off next time I meet scrambler bikes or else take off across the fields, Jethro’s potential wrath over his crops will be easier to take than another fall.
I have some more pigs to view asap as I’ve had a call to say two Gloucester Old Spots are looking for an outdoor home and are about ready for the boar at 11 months old. We seem to be developing a real mix of rare breeds now and as we only have one boar crossing them should be interesting and fun. I have just received a box load of Jamie Oliver recipes already to send out with my pork boxes from Jamie’s new series on pork.
We are so confident that what we do with our pigs is right. They live outdoors all year with wooden arks with wooden floors and a large patch of ground each except for when they farrow. Just as they are due to give birth they come back to the farm and are in large old stables near the house with a warming lamp for the piglets. After 3 – 4 weeks depending on the time of year the whole family is back outside. Weaning is at around 8 weeks [ in a commercial unit weaning is often at 3 weeks] and the piglets stay in their home and on the same food and we put the sow back with all her friends and the boar. We have one sow to wean on Friday.
Weather forecasters are predicting another very cold spell soon in from the East but at least we may be able to stop swimming. Time will tell if they are right, one of my best friends in America always made me laugh by calling the forecasters ‘the weather guessers’.