Tuesday, 22 June 2010


... the latest additions to the madhouse!

They are 10-week old Large White x Oxford Sandy and Black crosses. This morning they were still a little shell-shocked and jumpy after their rather stressful day yesterday, and so weren't terribly cooperative with the camera.

The regulations in the UK require any journey that involves transporting animals for more than 65 km to be carried out by a registered 'haulier', i.e. someone who has been on a course and knows that you shouldn't pick up a pig by its tail or poke it with sharp sticks and has a 'Pigs in transit' sign on the back of their trailer. As I haven't been on the course and therefore do not know these things, I had to take my friend Natasha with me to collect them, as she has the necessary certificate.

We collected the weaners from a farm on the Llŷn Peninsula, which involved driving over the stunning Bwlch y Groes pass in Snowdonia. It was a bright, warm sunny day - absolutely perfect for a road trip. We weren't in a hurry, so we could take our time and drink in the incredible scenery. Even when the directions we were given proved to be missing a vital turning, and when we found that the road we were supposed to take had been closed for roadworks. Or when we realised that I had only brought the directions, and not the name of the farm or even the nearest village. Even when I got into a complete pickle trying to reverse with the trailer, and it eventually became easier simply to unhitch the whole thing, reverse the Land Rover and then reattach the trailer, we both remained blissfully unstressed. We knew we would get there in the end.

At the farm we had a very welcome cup of tea, looked around the other young stock and inspected the neatest vegetable garden I have seen in a long time, and then loaded 6 little porkers (two for me and four for some friends in the village).

This is not a quiet operation.
The noise that one small pig can make when it is picked up has to be heard to be believed. The weird thing about it is that it stops - instantly - as soon as it is put down again.

When we got back home, the whole squealing piglet process had to be repeated six times to deliver each one to its new accommodation.
Naturally one escaped.
He was finally cornered by the compost bins and hollered every inch of the way from there to the pig ark, where he promptly buried himself in the straw and went to sleep.

This morning they were still refusing to come out and eat. It wasn't until this afternoon when I went out there with my secret weapon - some chopped-up apple - that they would even contemplate stepping out of the safety of their new house.

I don't expect this reticence to last very long. I strongly suspect that they will start excavating the ground in their run within the next 24 hours!


  1. The pigs are beautiful! The one with the black ring around the eye is fantastic. The drive you took to get them looks stunning . . . but god help me if I had to reverse a trailer.

  2. How cute are those piggies!

  3. Wonderful photos of some very handsome piglets! It would be quite difficult to get any with such interesting breeding here in my part of Canada. Most of the hogs that are raised here are commercial Yorkshire-Landrace crosses (or similar). I don't think there are too many people keeping the heritage breeds that you probably see in your region.
    Isn't the squeal of a young piglet something else?!