Monday, 5 December 2016

Slightly wistful...

Having been around livestock for most of my working life,  I'm pretty good at regarding them with a fairly detached attitude.
Particularly animals such as pigs,  given the only reason for their existence,  from an economic point of view, is that they be eaten.
They don't do so well in the milking parlour, and even the hairiest ones here would provide very skimpy cover as a winter wooly.
The final two, of the batch of nine,  that have spent the Summer busily digging up roots,  have just trundled past the window in the stock trailer, piloted by their nemesis Robin,  who has crafty designs upon all their succulent,  flavoursome,  slow grown parts.
However, one chap of the brigade had become a bit of a local character...
When he and his brethren were let into the last of the sweetcorn aftermath,  they quite naturally chowed down on all the edibles available.
Until someone had a light bulb moment.
Lady pigs when they are about to farrow will often exhibit very strong nesting instincts,  gathering up materials to make a comfy bed. In the woods, or outdoors with plenty of straw they have a surfeit of materials to play with...
But can you imagine their frustration when confined to a concrete floored crate?
Turns out it's not just humans, that can choose to cross the boundaries of traditional gender roles.
The last of the guys to go today had spent a lot of time making a bed in the communal arc,  trotting back and forth with mouthfuls of corn stalks to cosy up the accommodation.
It was hard not to identify with his comfort seeking endeavours,  as winter sets in,  even in relatively balmy Devon.
And when, the following day,  we broke off from our weeding,  and furnished the pigs with apple boughs,  this particular pig Co opted his mates to carry them all in.
I couldn't resist filming it. A large pig trying to get an overly wide branch into his bedroom to complement the soft furnishings..
Too funny..
They will be missed.
But enough of the sentimentality.
There is just time,  if the tractor will deign to start,  to get that ground worked down,  and sown to a soil preserving green manure of ryecorn...

Something a bit like this.... How the seasons fly by...

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