In October last year we brought home three little piggies, tucked up safely in the back of the truck, they peered shyly out from the straw as we arrived home.
They quickly settled in, bonding with me over celery sticks (they always loved celery) the day after they arrived.
And enjoyed helping Lovely Hubby whenever he made modifications or improved their little home.
As the weather turned icy they loved their little pen, and spent lots of happy hours arranging and rearranging the straw in the pig ark.
When the heavy rains of Winter came, they had mud fuelled games and got seriously messy. But we decided a nice warm, dry spot would be more preferable for our favourite little piggies.
And what better spot than the barn where the big pigs had overwintered the year before.
This time we converted our storeroom, so they had a nice warm and cosy indoor area and a big space outside that we needed clearing anyway. We thought we could continue storing the straw bales there but they had other ideas, chewing through the baler twine and making their beds bigger and deeper than ever before! They emptied out our log storage bags on a daily basis and decorated their room in a very rustic fashion, having great fun in the process.
By April they had cleared the ground of all weeds and anything green they could find and it was time to move them to richer pastures.
So they joined the big pigs in the Paddock, having a massive 2.5 acres just to themselves. With a new ark to sleep in and a day shelter so they could escape the midday sun, made from large Hestons and a couple of boards it was truly a piggy paradise.
And then with the sad family time we are currently going through we made the reluctant decision to find new homes for all our pigs. We gave ourselves the whole of the Summer to get the right homes for our stock. We wanted the Kunes to stay together if possible and waited for just the right new home to come along. I'm glad we did, we took them to it yesterday, it's perfect.
Jeni, their new Mum, has got them a lush grassy paddock, with a brand new house, just the right size for the three of them to cuddle into.
They have new interesting neighbours to get to know.
But yesterday the grass was definitely taking priority. After a quick tour of the edges of their new
domain and a quick peek into the new little house they continued grazing all the time we were there.
Pausing briefly to say goodbye to LH, who was giving the dogs a run in the next field after the long journey.
So now that is a huge weight off our minds, we've been so lucky up to now with the homes we've found for the pigs. The Large Black herd is happily settled in the Netherlands, Lulu and her babies are still at Jimmy's Farm and will join the rest of the family over there very soon.
Martha, her sister Maud and her piglets, our Middle Whites, are being delivered by us in two weeks (when the piglets are old enough to travel) to Fallowfields Country House Hotel, which has their own farm, occasionally open to the public (including this August Bank Holiday) where they will be some of the resident breeding sows. Anthony is a wonderful guy and has the same caring attitude to all his livestock that we do. Happy lives lived the way they should be, before as humane an end as possible. He rears and grows most of the food himself for his wonderful hotel and the quality really does stand out.
So it's all going extremely well and in two weeks time we will be left with just Martha's weaners and our four little Middle White gilts, who (fingers crossed) may now be spoken for.
So we have gone from over forty pigs a couple of months ago down to ten left on the farm by the end of this month. With some of them going to a (sadly for them) sausagey end, but all the others being found lovely caring homes, where they will continue to live the lives we want for them.
So today it's a big THANK YOU to Jeni and her family for giving my girls a wonderful new caring home. Just the kind of place I could have dreamed of for them. Tinka, Tayla and Gypsey you have a wonderful future ahead of you.