I have had pigs, on and off, over the past 6 years. Usually just weaners for the freezer, but over the past year I have been gearing up to having my own breeding stock.
I kept two females that were born in spring 2014 and added a 4 year old sow that was free to a good home in spring 2015. Because of the restricted opening of our slaughterhouse (Aug-Dec) I wanted to have any piglets that would be ready to go in the autumn, so I have held off with a boar until now.
I have been on the lookout for a boar for a couple of months, and had some options, but then a 3 year old Gloucester Old Spot became available for sale locally this week, and I was fortunate enough to get in there first.
I saw him yesterday (Hogmanay) and went to pick him up today. This wasn’t as straightforward as I had hoped. The boar isn’t keen on trailers and it took us around an hour to get him in!
We had taken the roof off the trailer, to encourage him in, only for him to jump straight back out!!
Take 2 wasn’t too bad, but this time we left one of the sows that was with him in the trailer, until we got the roof on. We had to strap it down as well, as he kept lifting it!
Anyway, it was a 10/15 minute drive home from Borve, and he went straight in with my own pigs. It didn’t take him very long to settle in. Less than 5 minutes, in fact….
I know there will be a certain Councillor in Callanish that will appreciate that photo!
That should mean piglets in 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days, from 1st January, so around 25th April, I think. There are another 2 sows in with them too, which will come into season over the next 3 weeks.
Yesterday, I prepared extra sleeping accommodation for the boar. We’ll see how he takes to it. My neighbour James came down with his chainsaw to cut a doorway in an old oil tank. All systems go now!