(It seems somewhat callous to refer to my new little piggies as ‘bacon’, but I like the title – they’re the ones in the top right)
After much preparation, there are now two pigs on my drive, one completely black, the other with a pink saddle over her shoulders. They are apparently a cross of Saddleback and Hampshire which should mean they are still long like Saddlebacks, but slightly leaner thanks to the Hampshire genes.
Having built the house (see post here), I set up the electric fence, which consists of two strands of wire and around the run and a 12v/240v energiser (next post will have more details), bought a couple of bags of pig food (specifically sow & weaner nuts) which I stored in a metal bin, hooked up the trailer and set off to the breeder.
Loading and Unloading
Here, one of the staff carried what looked like a cage to carry dogs in into the pen and we waited until one of the inquisitive piglets wandered inside and I was happy to take whichever two he caught. These we carried to the trailer and, having covered the metal floor with straw, we let the pigs wander in and locked it up.
Having given the guy my CPH and herd numbers (for details on how to get these for yourself, check out the post here), I set off back home along the winding country lanes, chanting “Remember the trailer! Remember the trailer!”.
Pigs don’t travel well, they get motion sickness just like us, so it was no surprise to find a couple of piles of sick in the straw when we arrived at the other end. I like to let the pigs rest for a bit, before subjecting them to the trauma of moving in. My initial plan was to carry them from the trailer to their house – a matter of a mere 10 metres or so. But the moment I picked the first one up, it made such a squealing fuss that people in the street were getting startled. And not surprisingly consider the noise they make (this video is the loudest pig I’ve ever carried!):
Instead, I opted for the dog cage approach as I happened to have one hiding up the garden (a cage, not a dog), and with the help of my next-door neighbour, the two pigs were soon tucked up in their new house.
One last thing that needs doing to round off the homecoming is completing the movement license. Once upon a time, this was all done with paperwork in triplicate+1 (whatever for term from that is). Now, however, it is done on the internet, specially via BPEX.
The site in question is the EAML2 site: http://www.eaml2.org.uk/ami/home.eb
All pig keepers have to register with BPEX in order to send and receive pigs. Once you have done so, all you need to do when bringing pigs onto your holding is log in to the EAML2 site, click on the ‘Confirm A Move’ section:
…select the name of the person you bought the pigs off and then fill in all the relevant info in the form, which looks like this:
And once they’d had a little food and water, they soon settled in to their new home and their new lives… on my drive.