Tuesday 11 January 2011

Quandries and Decisions......

Lottie,Lulu, Cyd and the other three piglets eating breakfast.
Thank you for all the comments and emails sent yesterday in response to my post. It's lovely to think that so many of you are trying to understand.
My main concern is that we originally went into this to sell 'weaners', that is piglets just weaned from their Mums at eight weeks, moved onto solids and then sold to other folk to either use as breeding stock or to raise for Rare Breed pig meat. Doing this you have no guarantee of how they will be treated once they leave your farm. That is my first concern.
My second concern, and of more importance to me personally, is that I honestly thought I would love piglets, find them cute and cuddly and be amazed at the whole birthing process and that this would enable me to carry on with this whole pig farming business and cope with the mud and mess. None of this is the case, I hated watching the piglets being born and having to help, yes my instincts kicked in and I just got on with it, saving lives and helping Maud was more important at the time. But I HATED it, with a vengeance. I have not touched the piglets since they were born and if anything I feel so detached from them, my last thought is cuddling them.
It was different with Lotties' babies for some reason. Maybe I should have just gone with my first instincts last year and concentrated on our Large Blacks and sold the Middle Whites when Betty left the farm. At the moment I am in a quandary and this post is just me being honest with all my readers and getting my thoughts on 'paper'.
In an ideal world I would just have the free range chickens and vegetables, but for Lovely Hubby to be able to give up his job and join me on the farm full time we need to have a viable source of income to keep us afloat and pay the bills. The pigs were supposed to be this, but I don't know if I can keep this going even until April, when he is hoping to reduce his working week to two or three days and spend longer on the farm. I do know if this land was more suited to large pigs it would be easier, but when the mud reaches the top of your wellies you know that it's not.
Quandries and decisions...............
On a nicer note, it's moving day for the Lavender Pekin Bantams today, as they leave the comfort of the spare bedroom and take up residence in the Eglu, now sited in the polytunnel. I thought it would afford them some protection from the cold nights and wind for their first couple of weeks outdoors. We'll see how they get on.
Sue xx


  1. You are so lovely!
    How hard it must then be for you to be doing what you're doing.
    It's alright for us (me) sitting here saying 'oh how sweet etc' But for you, it's obviously not good :(
    You've obviously got a hard decision to make Sue & LH.
    I admire you immensly for what you are doing :0)
    Have a good day today.
    Love Donna x

  2. Just a quick comment Sue.

    Isn't it better that you are detached from the piglets. If they aren't pets and you are farming them, you shouldn't be too close surely.

    I know this sounds strange, but perhaps not try and think too much about it and everything will eventually fall into place, including how you feel. Just go with the flow of your farm and the answers will be there.

    As an ex vegetarian of 25 years(7 of those years vegan) I understand your dilemma. It's so difficult to make the 'right' decisions. But as someone who now eats meat about once a week, I would rather eat a pig that came from your farm than anything from the supermarkets (to be honest, I don't eat pork, but you know what I mean).

    Take care


  3. Sue, your poor thing.
    I agree with what Donna has said but also, if OH will eventually spend more time on the farm can you not hand the pigs over to him as much as possible and you only deal with them when you really need to. Or am I missing the point? I hope you can sort something out, it looks like you are doing such a good job and surely it will get easier.
    Alison x

  4. Hi Sue, so sorry you are in this quandry. Sitting here at the computer catching up on your world it is easy to get swept up in the lovely cuteness of piglets without thinking beyond and out to the big picture and all those tough decisions that come with it.
    I can offer no helpful suggestions having never been in this situation but you have my best wishes and support from my end of the computer line! And I am still happy to offer myself out for some work experience if you need extra pairs of hands short term!
    Wishing you strength and clarity in your decisions
    take care
    Sarah x

  5. whatever decision you reach will be the right one, and that decsion will come to you I'm sure of that.
    The good thing about it all is that nothing is writ in stone, so you can change your mind whenever you want!

    Isn't it nice when you can openly admit your thoughts and feelings!

  6. Hi Sue

    I don't know much about farming but I do know quite a lot about living on a low-to-non-existant income.

    If your dh gave up work to work on the farm then your entitlement to tax credits would probably dramatically rise, and it *could* be possible. (maybe you've checked and if so, apologies). I use www.entitledto.co.uk which allows you to input your info, and income and get a pretty good idea of what benefits you would be entitled to. You can use it to evaluate various different combinations etc.

    As a vegan, I totally sympathise. I don't think I could become part of the meat industry, even if 'one step removed' iykwim without going through a lot of soul searching. I can't say if I could or not having never been in that situation, but I know the decision making process would be extremely difficult.

    One thought that sprung to mind also, the piglets have only just been born (I think?) and it sounds a bit like the experience was not what you thought it would be, and maybe you are in a slight state of shock?

    Good luck with your decisions and soul searching,


  7. Oh Sue I totally admire your honesty. I have four hens whom have become pets & give me eggs....that's it.

    You have been setting up a new way of life - a new living - basically a farm. If there are parts of this you have tried but would rather not continue then so be it. At least you tried where others talk.

    Maybe lovely hubby totally giving up work is not the answer.

    Hope you can come to a decision you are both happy with xx

    We will still be here for you regardless.

  8. I read every post you write Sue, and after reading this one I understand why: you're just so authentic, honest and open. We all make decisions based on so many different things, but sometimes they just aren't what we envisaged. I hope the pair of you can reach a decision that's best for both of you.
    Whatever that decision is, well done you for just doing it.
    P x


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