I was talking to Carole recently about the appalling cold, windy, wet weather and a shivering Hampshire pig. “What do you think is wrong with her?” I asked.
Carole being an astute lass got straight to the point and asked “What are you wearing today?” To which I replied “More clothes than when I am skiing in Canada at -20C.”
“Well, there you are” she replied “the modern pigs don’t have as much fat cover as the traditional pigs and I bet she’s feeling the cold like we are”. “Hmmm” I replied “she has just been weaned so she is at her thinnest, so you are probably correct. Although she is cuddling up to 8 other sows in their ark, so should not be too cold!”
So, do I need a pig blanket for this Hampshire pig? Or perhaps I need to feed her more? Or bring in all the sows and the Hampshire boar to the pig yards at Bridgefield Farm?
Yes, I will bring in all the outdoor sows and boars pigs except the OSAB’s, which grow a thick winter coat to repel all the winter elements.
No room at the Inn for these hairy pigs!
It all goes to show that each of the different breeds, traditional and modern and the different types within these categories all require slightly different management in different seasons.
This is stockmanship that can only be gained by experience, although the foundations can easily be laid on one of our pig keeping courses.
Both Carole and I continue to learn more about our pigs every day. It is a never ending journey, one that we enjoy sharing with you all.
John and Carole.