High Welfare Pork production in Worcestershire !

We woke up yesterday mornng to listen as usual to Farming Today on Radio 4. It is usually on at 5.45am and we often miss a few bits, however on a Saturday it is on at the much more civilised time of 6.30am. Charlotte Smith, who interviewed Kate a little while ago was talking to a Worcestershire farmer about the new EU regulations coming out next year relating to Pig welfare. The farmer being interviewed seemed to have the same philosophy as us, and bred his pigs to high welfare standards, although he was farrowing indoors, whereas if we ever do get to farrowing we will farrow outside.

So inspired and with a hot coffee we went outside to start the day 🙂

It was a little chilly, -4 but beautiful 🙂 We saw 2 foxes crossing our big field on their way somewhere, it was a reminder that beautiful though the morning was we were still at the mercy of nature and animals natural instincts.

So morning rounds began, and I was off on the tractor………

First topping up the ewes hay rack…….. forgot a knife to cut the bayler twine, so had to go back to the barn and the sheep mobbed the tractor.

 Breaking the ice on the water troughs was fun, and filling up troughs with water containers. Lugging them around was what we did all the time before the water was piped down to the bottom of the field. They are so heavy, I had completely forgotten, however with the pipes being frozen and me being a bit of a bodgit person, I had too, as I was scared to thaw out the pipes with the blow torch as Kate does.

It was also the first chance I had to see the new Saddleback / Middlewhite cross pigs we had bought from Sheffield. They are so sweet  🙂 In this picture is one of the crossed pigs and also our little Middlewhite boar………yet to grow……. and so very sweet. No name as yet!

Getting the pigs used to us is important, it helps if we are going to keep them for breeding, as they do grow so big.

As it is so cold I gave all the pigs extra straw, so that they could kep warm.

Then I went off to get provisions and left Kate, Lisa and James to continue the work.

What a scary trio!!! They were about to start a little bit of hedge laying! As we are keen to conserve our hedges which are alive with nature 🙂

The loppers were not used on Kate or James, just the hedge!

 So when I got home around 1pm Kate was chatting to one of our neighbours, who had brought his ferret, to have a go as the rabbits in our hedges. James and Lisa were cleaning out the chickens and I did the housework.

Our lovely day was then topped off by Kate and Neil flying over and landing near Bewdley and staying over 🙂

So the week ahead……….. Kate is talking about extending the egg round……….. we have pork, sausages, ham and bacon being produced and delivered by courier around the country  on friday. The sheep are growing as they get closer to lambing…. and life is good!!

And we have the cutest little boar you ever did see 🙂 What a fab weekend………. now we have liver casserole cooking, Kate has had a shower and is doing the Guardian crossword and I am having a shower next. Then we will be turning off the generator and watching Edwardian farm on the computer, by candlelight………… we know how to enjoy life 🙂

Check out our website if you want to order some of our produce for home delivery 🙂     littleblackpig.co.uk

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