Piggies!

Our lovely sow, Brunhilde, gave birth on 21 December to 13 piglets.  She was 2 days earlier than we expected so we were so glad we’d finished building her farrowing area.

Here’s a sneak preview.  Come see them soon

 

My how they’ve grown

Here are the 3 little pigs – little no longer.  Les has taken a shot of them drinking their morning milk.  Take at look at how easily 3 fitted around the saucepan when we got them and now, there’s not even space for two. These pigs are getting any excess milk from Sweetpea so we’re hoping our jersey milk fed pork will taste sensational.

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Watching them fight to be first at the food and the speed at which they consume it, you can understand why that expression “eating like a pig” is not a compliment.

They have excelled as pigerators, there’s not a scrap of kikuyu root left in the area.  Even the Giant Parramatta grass is gone.  And there’s never anything wasted, it’s all pig food.

New Dung Beetles

On Saturday morning after we’d had Sweetpea grazing on the driveway on Friday night, Les found a different type of dung beetle.   We’ve never seen a dung rolling beetle here before.  We think it is either Sisyphus Spinipes or Sisyphus Rubrus.  We’ll let you know once we’ve had it confirmed – we hope by the Dung Beetle Expert, Bernard Doube, who we saw present at Manning Landcare. 

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It is quite bizarre as our friends, Brian & Chris who’ve recently bought at Killabakh, called two days before saying they’d found a dung rolling beetle on their property.  It was previously thought that we didn’t have any of the dung rolling type  beetles in the area which makes this a most exciting find.

Dung beetles hard at work on the driveway

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king who deceived the gods.  His punishment was to roll a boulder up a hill in hell only to watch it roll down again, over and over again.  Watching these critters roll up the dung and roll it away and bury it, makes you feel they are aptly named.

Wessex Saddlebacks

Introducing Truffle, Proscuitto and Jamon

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We got them to work as “pigerators” digging up kikuyu and weeds, ploughing and fertilising the ground  for us to establish more vegie beds and then for making our own ham, bacon – we’ve got the cold smoker ready to go. 

They do a lot of sleeping (evidently about 70% of their lives), are most interested in anything we give them to eat are rapidly drinking all the whey that’s produced when Les makes cheese – at this point I always stop and say “blessed are the cheesemakers!!!”

The dogs find them fascinating but they are far too cute so I try not to spend too much time with them.

Black Jersey House Cow

On Monday this week, while we were breakfasting with Pete, Silvia, Rob and Zuzana (who’d stayed with us for the heritage fruit weekend), Annette got a phone call from Jools:

“Are you still looking for a house cow?”

“Ummmm….”

“Jenny has a black Jersey that’s just calved, it will be lovely”

Well, these opportunities don’t come up that often, so today a further piece of the smallholding puzzle arrived:

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Her name is Sweetpea and we’ve named the little fella Paprikash (it will never do for us to lose sight of his ultimate destination).

The next step is, of course, to try and extract some milk from the girl. She was very kind and let me catch her, which is a good first step…

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Next, try and figure out where the cow juice is and persuade it into the bucket:

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Given the amount of milk in the bucket vs the amount on the ground, the cow’s hoofs and my crotch, I can see why Cleo’s label this stuff as “bathing milk”

Finally, one hot chocolate and one anijsmelk, made using milk from our own cow:

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Who’da thunk it?

Now all we need to do is redesign the house paddock and surrounding orchards to take Sweetpea’s needs into account. Luckily we haven’t started planting orchards yet, so only minor mods to the design will be needed.

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