Now who lives in a house like this?
Friday night saw us tootling along the A34 for miles and miles and our destination.......Chitterne a lovely little village in Wiltshire and the reason..........pigs!
We stayed overnight in a truly gorgeous B&B, a lovely cottage owned by Amanda and Jeremy (Highly Recommended) with a bathroom to die for and a breakfast fit for a king (or two hungry people about to spend a day learning about pigs).
Then it was a two minute drive to the other side of the village to the village hall, where after coffee and introductions it was time for the main business of the day. To absorb as much information about these lovely creatures as we could.
Tony and Carron trading together as 'Pig Perfect' made this truly a day to remember with information, stories, jokes and above all the true know how of how to keep and raise happy and profitable rare breed pigs.
After a session in the village hall in was time to don wellies and waterproofs and finally go to meet the pigs. Just across the village green and there we were in piggy paradise, lots of sows and gorgeous little piglets and a few big but loveable boars.
We all got to go in with the pigs, hold the babies and ask our question, some silly, but none laughed at. We were all in the same boat, novices but eager to learn and it made for a fascinating morning it was back to the hall for a gorgeous homecooked (by Carron) lunch of............ guess what.......pork. And yes, those of you who know me know I don't eat red meats but this time I had a go, and although I have nothing to compare it against it was good. Hubby says it's the best pork he's tasted (and he eats meat for England).
You can see from the pictures that this was above all a hands on day, with Lovely Hubby falling 'hook, line and sinker' for how to estimate a pigs weight without picking it up and putting it on a scale, take a length of rope measure the length and girth and then divide by 10 , NOT as Lovely Hubby was told from the nape of the neck to well under the testicles, but from the nape of the neck to the top of the tail. Still watching him handling the boar (and giving it a good grope) gave us all a good laugh and an excellent photo opportunity, (he got to keep his measuring rope as a souvenir).
Then it was back to our classroom for the final part of the day, the marketing side, vital if we are to keep the rare breeds of this country going. They have to make money and make a living for the people dealing with them to help keep numbers up and the wondrous array of breeds available for future generations.
Truly a fantastic day and one I would recommend for anyone even considering pigs in any way, as a living, or hobby , to breed or to sell for meat, or even just as a pet. They are trainable, loveable and such intelligent animals I am truly a convert. We have decided to get three pigs at the beginning of summer, as soon as the chickens have settled in and we have fenced the orchard and built a pig ark.
Our pigs of choice..........of course it has to be Oxford Sandy and Blacks.
Here's hoping you had as enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend as us. Roll on the next one. (Blogger not playing nice.....more photos to follow.)