Oxford Sandy and Blacks and Saddlebacks turn into paddling pigs!

What an entry into 2012 with the pig yards at Bridgefield Farm flooded. We have had so much rain here in Cumbria over the last 6 months that the land is saturated and the rivers and lakes full. New Years Eve was horrible with continuous rain, in these unseasonably warm temperatures, bringing a very soggy start to 2012. What a contrast to last year when the ice and snow were causing a different set of problems.

Fortunately the growing pigs and Saddleback sows have raised beds to keep them dry but their main yard was 6 inches deep. The slurry pit has risen by 4 ft in the last 10 days!

Fortunately, I have only three hardy Oxford Sandy and Black sows out in the fields up at the top of the hill at Coal Yeat Farm, with good hard access to feed them on every day. They hate the soft mud as their feet sink well into the goooo but they have a dry, straw filled ark to cuddle in and are taking no harm.

The New Year brings new life, as this is prime time farrowing for the January show pigs for the forthcoming show season. I have several Saddleback and Oxford Sandy and Blacks ready to farrow but my sole Lop sow is totally out of rhythm having only recently been weaned.

Both Carole and I are looking forward to the extensive programme of pig keeping courses we have planned for 2012. Not least the three special courses; a showing weekend, butchery course and pedigree pig breeding course.

We look forward to meeting you on one of our pig keeping courses and wish you all a prosperous and piggy 2012.

John and Carole

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