On Monday our three Large Black/Middle White cross pigs went off to ‘university’. Never an easy day, but we now have a freezer full of free-range, rare-breed sausages and bacon for sale. We have old English, apple and pork, and gluten-free sausages available as well as smoked and unsmoked back and streaky bacon. The pigs are fed organic feed and we run the smallholding in accordance with organic principles, but we are too small to be registered organic – by too small I mean we can’t be bothered with the paperwork nor afford to register as organic.
But I digress, things have been happening in the pig field. We have finally got round to setting up a rotational system for our pigs. Up until now each batch had a quarter of the field and once they went to the abattoir the area would rest for a year. I want to try moving the pigs more frequently onto smaller areas of fresh ground.
As the arks we have are hard to move we have come up with a cunning solution. We bought another two arks and put them together.
We now have four arks in the middle of the field and radiating from the centre, the field is divided into 8 segments. Each ark can therefore, in theory, provide shelter for pigs as they move through two segments. A drawing would help here, so here is one I did earlier
We have now moved our Large Blacks onto some fresh ground and a new, larger ark. I think they like it.
They have had fun exploring
You can see the electric wire marking out their segment here – when we want to move them we just move the fence to the other side of the ark.
Today I scattered a mix of pasture seeds over the two old, churned up quarters – hopefully with some rain it will start to grow soon.
Uh oh, how many pigs are in this picture? Something doesn’t seem right here…..