Arrival of the new piglets

I have had pigs twice before, once in 2009 and again in 2011.  This year, my neighbour has got 4, one of which is mine.  Pigs are social animals, so you have to keep them in groups of 2 or more.  It makes sense to keep all 4 together – especially since these are all siblings!

I went up to Calanais to get them this evening.  Calanais is famous for it’s standing stones but that’s not why I was there!  Here are the piglets, sound asleep in a barn

I was playing football for Ness tonight (yes, I am playing despite my dislocated finger) so I couldn’t leave until after 9.  Calanais is 30 miles away, so it was a late one, not arriving back home until 11.30pm.  I prefer getting it out of the way now, so I don’t have to use up some of my Saturday – which is going to be busy!

Anyway, here are the piglets feeding, once they’d woken up.

These piglets are Gloucester Old Spots and I’ve been getting them off the same guy since I started with pigs.  This is Cudaig Macleod (Cudaig is Gaelic for cuddy, a small fish).  He is a crofter and has also just been elected as a councillor to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council).  Here is Cudaig carrying one of the pigs out to the trailer.  I know it looks a little cruel but this is the best way to hold them – the pigs are totally calm.  They tend to scream their heads off if you hold them upright but they don’t even struggle this way.  Less stress for all involved.

Here are the piglets in the trailer, with a very very excited Bud looking on.

This is back in Ness at 11.30.  The piglets new home.

My brother Innes came to help me once I got back and the pigs are now settled down for the night.  Perky (my neighbour who’s taking responsibility for them) is back home in the next few days, so I’ll keep an eye and feed them until them.  Fingers crossed they don’t escape!!

Piggies!

I first got pigs in spring 2009.  I’d been talking about it for a while but did nothing about it, until my dad spoke to a guy who had some piglets and the rest, as they say, is history.

I learnt some lessons with the first piglets I got, namely not to give them names and not to get too attached!  They are brilliant animals, lively, interactive and friendly.  The first ones I had were named Bubbles & Jim Lahey.  All was good until it came to slaughter time, I had to leave the trip to the slaughter house to my dad, I couldn’t be involved at all.  However, due to a problem with the slaughter house band-saw, I had to saw Bubbles’ head off once the carcasses came home!

I didn’t get any pigs in 2010  but I got them again in 2011, 4 this time.  2 for me, one for my neighbour and one for my cousin.  Here they are when they arrived. I had to choose the 4 that would be on my croft, for the next 6 months.

They spent the first few days in the shed that would be their home/shelter, until they acclimatised

and they settled pretty quickly!

They were soon having lots of fun outside…

running around the field

They soon grew up to be pretty big….

and ended up looking like this!

The sausages were absolutely phenomenal.  I guarantee you can’t get better elsewhere!

So that was goodbye to the Gloucester Old Spots and I thought that would be that for a while, but less than a month later, with the pigs’ bed barely cold, some Kune-Kune’s arrived!  This picture was taken in my parent’s kitchen (and I think this is the first time I appear on my own blog!)

These are much smaller than the G.O.S. and will take about a year to mature.  Very cute, though

The only problem with their size is that they always escape!  This is them in with the rams!

These pigs will go to slaughter sometime in the autumn but I expect to have plenty more pictures/adventures between now and then – and there are also more Gloucester Old Spot piglets arriving next door in the next month or so!