A few jobs had to b done and we were against the clock as I had to get to an important hospital appointment with my Dad. Luckily we currently have two volunteers staying with us so it was all hands on deck!
Two of our sows (sisters who always farrow within hours of one another) are very nearly ready to pop, so it’s time to seperate them from the delightful “Humphrey” and give them a little ark of their own in which to make a nest. We had a variety of empty arks to choose from but some of the better ones were pretty far away from where we needed them and currently the mud is too much for our wee tractor to handle. So, we settled on two arks very close to where they currently were, the only problem with them was that the timber bases were past their best and a bit holey! A trip to B&Q for some marine ply and some long, strong screws and our plan to remove the arks, recover the bases then replace the arks without actually having to move them around the field took shape. It was HEAVY work, even for four of us, but so satisfying to see them back in good order, cleaned out and packed full of comfy straw. The sows didn’t need any convincing to pass across the imaginary line where the electric fence had been earlier and there we penned them, together but with an ark each if they needed it.
The second good job to be done was seperating a pen of male and female as they were just approaching the magical age of 5 1/2 months when we KNOW (from past experience) that they can get pregnant. George and Alessandro managed most of this alone and I breathed a sign of relief that it was done….pretty sure we did it just in the nick of time. I have made a note in my diary 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days from now (just in case)….if they reach that date without any piglets then we’ve done well!