The pigs normally spend a lot of time in their shelter on hot days, but I was out working on the fence for their next bit of pasture, and they are curious beings, so were out “with” me. Though they technically have names, I can’t really tell them apart anymore, especially when they’re covered in mud. Much like the declining energy one expends on baby records after the first child, I have not been keeping track on the calendar of how old these piglet are – but working it out from the purchasing info, they are at 12 weeks, or three months. They look about on track for growth to me, which certainly adds up with the voraciousness of their appetites, which increased a couple of weeks ago. If you look closely in a couple of the photos, you can see they are a little sunburnt behind the ears – probably the one place they haven’t managed to get mud.
These pigs are bred to be raised indoors, but seem to have pretty good pasturing instincts judging from their rooting ability and their clear enthusiasm for eating grass. They are quite different from last year’s pigs, which has surprised me a little even though I should have expected it. For instance, last year’s pigs were meticulous about their bathroom corner. These pigs use all the corners. Last year’s pigs never even considered bashing their water bucket around, let alone trying to turn it over. These pigs have managed it a few times, despite it being hooked to the corner, and wedged in with paving stones. These pigs also routinely turn their feed bowls over, which happened about twice last year. On the other hand, these pigs are less pushy, more amenable to tummy rubs, and more respectful of the electric fence.
Their new pasture is one part of a bigger pasture which I intend to rotate them round, and they should be in the first bit by the weekend. Fence is set up, but I still have to figure out how to get water to them there, and though I’ve rigged it so they can go back to the barn for shade and shelter, it won’t be feasible for the next phase of the rotation, so fixing up some kind of shelter is moving up the priority list. With roughly close to zero carpentry skills this is starting to look more and more like a straw bales and plywood kind of set up, though back in the winter, it was going to be an A frame type hut on skids. Originally I didn’t want to go with straw because it’s actually not very plentiful here, and can be hard to get. However, I have about a dozen bales of pretty low quality stuff that I picked up fairly cheaply to use as spare pig bedding if I needed to keep them in the barn longer, and I will probably use that to build a shelter, banking on the fact that I can get better straw from a friend up the road when he starts harvesting grain in a month or two.