Listening to: Trouble Sleeping (Corrine Bailey Rae)
Weather: turning grey and cold
Tough choices in the pigshed this week after the piglets proved exceptionally popular with potential buyers.
I advertised in the shops on Westray and in The Orcadian and now have orders for 14 out of the 20 piglets. There's actually a waiting list and I could have sold the lot.
It means I had to choose who to sell and I decided to keep it simple. With orders for eight males and six females, it's a case of Molly's litter plus two of Kim's.
The two to go from Kim's are Spot and Splodge. Spot injured his foot early on and you can't help but form a bond when you are checking him on a daily basis and making sure he has enough to eat. They're lovely pigs and I'm quite fond of them. For that reason they have to go - sold to a colleague of Sally's who I know will take care of them.
That, of course, is a problem now. I find myself fretting about whether the folk who are buying "my" pigs are going to care for them properly. God, it's complicated this pig farming business.
We're keeping four of Kim's big, healthy boys and they will be sold for meat in the winter. We are also hanging on to the two gilts (young sows) Little Kim and Sock. Little Kim is, obviously, a chip off the old block and will join Molly and her mum in our breeding programme. Sock has one white and one black back foot and we will either keep her or sell her as a breeding sow.
The immediate job is to wean the piglets and that happens tomorrow. As I said before, Molly is worn out and it's time to step in. She is fearfully thin (feeding off her back is the correct term, I believe) so she's going to get a rest. Her piglets are quite happy eating cereals and potatoes and so, for that matter, are Kim's.
Eric and Ernie's old paddock is clean and tidy, extended with a covering of grass just waiting for the girls. Apparently the best way is to just take the sows straight out and away from earshot.
How hard can it be?
Don't answer that.