Never Cast a Clout until May is Out!

Yes, like the rest of the UK I got carried away with the heat of the sunshine and turned out all my outdoor pigs. They entered dryish green paddocks, left empty since September to enable the grass to regenerate.

But what a muddy mess they soon became! Thursday the tenth of May saw a local deluge, which brought both the river Crake and Otley Beck adjoining the pig paddocks into flood.

The poor Hampshire boar and his friendly Oxford Sandy and Black girlfriend were up to their bellies in water! I had to save them by rattling a bag of food as encouragement to leave the pool of a pen for the dry trailer.

Meanwhile the paddocks on higher dryer land turned into deep welly pulling mud. This was after the driest two weeks we have had for 6 months. While the rest of the UK was being sodden we here on the Furness peninsular were pleasingly dry.

Then just as we thought our summer had been a fleeting moment in time we went from wellies and woollies to shorts and t shirts overnight.

Now the problem is very hot temperatures and the pigs need shade from the sun and lots of lovely cool wallows.

The interesting thing about the weather is how different breeds of pigs thrive in different conditions. The rare traditional British breeds are certainly hardier and cope well in the more trying conditions. On the other hand the modern breeds prefer to be tucked up inside in the more inclement weather.

So if you are coming on a pig keeping course don’t forget your wellies and your sun tan cream – you could need both!!


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