At the start of this adventure James and I went on a course ‘New Landowners’ taken by two old farmers who took us through just about everything involved in farming. This was invaluable to two newbie’s like us.
We were taken to a smallholding and had time with pigs, sheep, goats and hens. I had decided before hand that sheep were something I was interested in and probably not pigs at all. After that weekend I came home and couldn’t wait to get hold of PIGS.
Harold soon found us some British Saddleback piglets locally and within days we were making a pig pen! We invited Harold & his wife May and some friends to see our new ‘babies’ when they arrived and 4 lovely piglets were toasted with champagne when they arrived. Harold made a little trough for them, which we still use.
They were wonderful and although we wanted to keep 2 to breed with we soon realised that we were not in any way ready for that huge project and 3 of them went off to slaughter. It was a sad day but I was sure it was the right thing and we have never looked back. The meat was the best we had ever tasted and continues to delight anyone who buys it!
We had not realised then that pigs are easily bored and our remaining girl was soon escaping and causing chaos and we eventually sent her away as well.
We quickly realised that our holding was just not the same without pigs and bought 4 more delightful creatures.
As we have grown, so has our desire to be more eco friendly and I have a desire to ‘help’ where we can. I therefore did some research on the rare breed society website. If we were going to have pigs etc on our holding, then we should be helping those who breed those that are in dire need of saving. I fell in love with the Oxford Sandy & Blacks and Large Blacks. We were lucky to have a breeder of the wonderful OSB’s locally and off we went and bought our first 4. We have not looked back. Our two breeding girls, one a registered girl, from whom our first litter of 11 beautiful babies were produced and a non registered girl, whom we may cross breed with soon. The boar was a delight to have and has produced the most wonderful piglets.