Monday, 14 October 2013

Boris Johnson has babies!

Posted by Rosie

When Simon set himself up as an auto-entrepeneur business we suddenly found ourselves inundated with a whole lot of junk phone calls.  Seeing as it is my name in the phone book and these were all asking for Monsieur Simon Hill it was fairly obvious who had given them our number.  It was also very annoying because invariably we had to listen to the person for far longer than had it been an English call, just to check it wasn't actually something important, such as some-one wanting some work or demanding some more official paperwork.  Then, just over 4 months ago we got another call asking for Simon Hill.  The line wasn't that clear but I listened on ... and I am very glad I did.  I picked up the words pig and black and thought the man was asking if we owned some black pigs.  I then got the word piglets and I thought he was interested in buying one of our black piglets.  I struggled on and gradually new words filtered through the bad line.  Boar, female pig, borrow, orange until at last I put the puzzle together (and I learnt a few new French words along the way!)

The man I was talking to had ridden by us on his horse recently and had seen Boris, our orange and black boar.  Full name Boris Pignatius Johnon, Monsieur le Maire ;).  The man owns a black sow and wanted to breed from her so had ordered some semen to inseminate her.  However by the time she came into season it was too late to use the semen.  He was therefore wondering if we would be let Boris to service her.

One day old
Later that day Porky, the black Gascoine pig arrived and Boris had company for the evening!  Approximately 3 months, three weeks and 3 days later Porky gave birth to 8 gorgeous piglets - 4 black like her, 3 orange and black like Boris and one black and white like ... errrm ... I'm not sure like who??!!  

Porcine cuddles
Yesterday we finally managed to go over and see the litter and they are wonderful.  Having not had Kune Kune piglets this year and instead raising some other cross-breed piglets, we instantly remembered how much we love Kunes (as well as Kune x Gascoines!).  Eight little barrels on legs came tearing out of the shelter straight up to us, nibbling out boots, playing and enjoying back scratches and tummy tickles.  One little fella even loves nothing more than being picked up and cuddled.

We were offered one of the piglets as payment for services rendered but we actually refused - we would love to have had one too many things were against us:
  • We would have to have taken two (as pigs need company).  
  • We have no indoor winter shelter for them as they will be taken up with the girls and Boris
  • The Gascoine pig, unlike the Kune Kune, is much more of a digger and our fields would soon have become mud patches with 2 Kune x Gascoines running round them all Winter.  
  • We would have to have given them a lot more food overwinter
  • And finally having just slaughtered 2 of our non Kune Kune pigs we are very well stocked with pork!

5 weeks old
We don't really know why we didn't have any piglets this year.  Obviously Boris is not at fault and we are sure Isadora was pregnant.  We had had a poor summer last year followed by a long hard winter and we believe that may have caused her to abort the piglets.  Had that been the case, she would have eaten them as is her natural instinct to leave no trace for predators and we would be none the wiser.  However we are now coming up to the time to put one or both our sows back in with Boris .... give us another few months and hopefully we will once again be listening to the patter of tiny Boris Johnson feet here at Eco-Gites of Lenault. 

And in the meantime we have an open invitation to go and see Boris Johnson's babies whenever we want - something we will definitely do.  We may need to get in a good supply of shoelaces though!

Yum - shoelaces!


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