A few days ago Sir Humphrey boarded a trailer to be taken to his new home (and not on holiday, it really is a new home for him!). It was sad to see him go, especially as he’s now going to become (hopefully) a star as he’s on the front cover of my book (see link to the right).
However, he’s been awfully good at his job, and it was quite clear that he felt he was failing us. He tried several times to get in with Gaffer and Bernard. In fact I’d come out almost every day to find one or other of the gates on its side and Humphrey running back and forth in the alley between the pens. I think it would only have been a matter of time before he’d got in with the other two sows. Given how effective he has been that would have meant that we’d have had a couple more litters in the New Year, more or less the worst time from a weather perspective. I think (hope!) that he didn’t somehow make it in with them and then get out again without us noticing.
Finding Sir Humphrey a new home was probably one of the biggest parts of our animal reduction programme, as even though he is but a single pig, he has been responsible for the production of more animals on our holdings than anyone else (though Muga isn’t THAT far behind to be honest!). I think he’ll enjoy his new home though, and hope that his new carers get as much joy from him as we did.
Ok, so Amazon says it’s temporarily out of stock. This was due to a slight delay with the printers, but all is good now, and they should either already have the books or have them imminently, so they’ll be sending them out soon.
Of course there are other sellers who have copies, per the other options to buy, if you’re desperate to get a copy. Click on the link to the right to be taken to the page on Amazon…
So we’ve managed to sell Humphrey and Hacker as part of our animal reduction plan. Part of the sale was that hacker was in pig. She is in pig no more… as yesterday she gave birth to approximately ten little piglets! I haven’t managed to get a good count on them, and am trying not to disturb them too much…
I’d thought she was likely to give birth towards the end of next month, and she really wasn’t showing any signs of being that close to popping.
I’ll take pictures in due course!
Pigs Poultry and Poo, which tells the story of how we started keeping all these animals, is out today. So if you’ve bought it from Amazon then it will be winging its merry way to you. If you haven’t yet bought it then you can always click the link on the right hand side of the page and it will take you directly through to it…
As part of our general animal reduction we’ve decided to sell Sir Humphrey and Hacker. Sir Humphrey has to go as if we keep him he will continue to cover our sows and we will continue to have litters of new piglets, and we’d like a break from that for a while. While the reasoning makes sense we’re both going to miss him, as he’s been such a big part of our lives for the last few years.
Hacker is going too as we only wanted two pigs left – the minimum number really as they need at least one friend. I’d always agreed we could never get rid of Gaffer, and Bernard, being mostly white, is less likely to sell. We also put a lot of effort into saving her when she was injured early on after we bought her, so there’s an emotional attachment there too. Whereas Hacker has never really been any problem, apart from the occasional reminder to feed her.
With them going, we only have the two alpacas for sale, and then 24 animals (3 pigs, and 21 sheep) destined to go on holiday over the next few months. Once they’re all gone we will have less than fifty creatures on the smallholding for the first time in several years. Hopefully that will make the winter far less work!
Since we got our new bantams, and they managed to get out of the ark, I’ve been wondering where they were sleeping. The other evening I was late home and so was feeding everything in the dark, and I got my answer. The bantams appear to be nesting in one of our trees:
They seemed quite happy, and let me get quite close while taking their photos. It’s clearly where they sleep every night as there is quite a bit of poo underneath. Now the mystery is, if they are laying eggs, where are they laying them?
If there’s one thing Sir Humphrey likes when the sun shines, it’s a good old fashioned wallow. He’s managed to completely destroy one of the water drinkers, and it released quite a deluge of water until I managed to shut it off. This was much to Humph’s delight, and as you can see, he took full advantage:
The geese are free to wander all around our drive area, and along the hedge. Occasionally when I come out of the front door they’re waiting for me, but it seems fairly rare. However I noticed today that there is quite a lot of goose poo in the area near the front step. They’re clearly spending a lot of time camped out waiting for us.
I wish they’d poo somewhere else though…
My book, Pigs, Poultry and Poo: An Urbanite Couple’s Journey to Country Life was supposed to be published today, but a slight delay with the printers means it will be delayed by a bit – only a few days hopefully. I’ll blog as soon as I know! It tells the story of how we started with the animals, and introduces some of the characters I’ve blogged about over the last year or so….
The nice Amazon people will sell it to you if you click on the link to the right. —–>
One of the things we decided to finally do properly was get some of our weakest fencing sorted. This meant paying someone to come in and do it professionally. And he did a truly fabulous job.
One of the things he did differently was in using a slightly different type of mesh. Most meshes we use have continuous horizontal strands, and then individual vertical strands (though it’s the other way round in this photo!):
What this means is that the vertical strands can be pushed about quite a bit, and it isn’t as robust as it could be. Our new fencing man uses mesh with complete lines both vertically and horizontally to provide extra strength:
He’s done some great work. We now have electric stand-offs on both sides, and an electric wire on the top. This should both stop the cows form leaning against it, and the more athletic sheep from attempting to leap it! It’s also nice and straight…