Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Sick as a pig

Listening to: winding up to Hogmanay

Christmas morning in the bottom field and Briggsy the porker isn't a happy boy. He strolls out of the hut (he's normally out like a greyhound from a trap), he looks at the food I've so kindly put out, he yawns, he sips out of the bucket, he sniffs around the place and wanders back into the shed before snuggling down for a kip.

Hoping it's an off-day, the pig "farmer" puts some extra straw in the hut, tops up the water buckets and goes off to stuff his face.

Boxing Day brings no change and the next day Marcus visits to give the lad an anti-biotic jab. Sure enough, 24 hours later, Briggsy (second left on the header pic) is back to his old self.

The irony is that, in a matter of two or three weeks, Briggsy is off to Kirkwall for his. . .err. . . "conversion" into chops, joints etc.

I was concerned about Briggsy being unhappy, but maybe I was concerned about £300-worth of pork - this pig-farming lark brings up all sorts of dilemmas and stuff I'm clearly going to have to get used to dealing with.

I'm daft about the pigs. I want them to be happy and healthy, but I'm just as ready to send them off to slaughter. Bit weird, isn't it?

18 comments:

garfer said...

As long as Briggsy gets a dry cure only the militant veggies will complain.

Nobody loves a watered down porker.

fiwa said...

No - I think it's the best way to be. I wouldn't call it daft at all.

andrea said...

I get it about the pigs. I'm the same way with my paintings. :)

Gin said...

I get it too. You're a good farmer Malc! I love the word "conversion". It's so civilized!

Have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Timorous Beastie said...

Makes perfect sense to me. Respect for the animal and its health does not mean one has to get bogged down in sentimentality or anthropomorphism. I admire your efforts up there and I'm glad you're blogging about it.

Lindsay said...

Briggsy is probably a very happy pig and has had a good life with you which is the main thing.

Murph said...

Perfectly Normal Malc. I feel exactly the same way about Chris Moyles.

zIggI said...

Happy New Year Malc to you and yours, glad he's feeling better.

Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd said...

It makes complete sense to me -- I would certainly never want to eat an unhappy animal! :)

Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda i chi bawb!

I, Like The View said...

not weird, it's your life and your livelihood

and what a wonderful combination!

Happy New Year, Malc and all the very best to Mrs P-F too

X

Richard said...

Not at all. If you weren't crazy about them they wouldn't be happy. That free range pork leg joint I had from Asda for boxing day was the best piece of meat I've ever tasted (did it in cider with sweet potato, onion, carrot and parsnip in the tray). I dare say that pig's farmer was just as devoted as you.

The Birdwatcher said...

Give them a good home lots of decent food and love and affection and then enjoy them for breakfast. Sounds perfect. Have a smashing 2009

Daphne said...

Yes, I agree with the others who've left comments - I think it's not at all a contradiction to keep an animal as healthy and happy as possible, and then eat it or sell it to be eaten. And a very happy 2009 to you all from a very cold Leeds.

elizabethm said...

Seems sensible enough to me. Hope pig and farmer are well.

Zabigdog said...

Do you sing around the croft at the top of your lungs? I would! This is the best song ever. I would dance in my boots in the mud mud mud.

Sian said...

Not daft at all Malc. BTW - what vet services do you have access to on the island? Or do you rely on a local farmer with a supply of antibiotics etc and emergency vet call out if necessary?

us lot!! said...

hi,i agree with you.I want all my animals to be happy but am so glad when they are ready for the pot.Not sure if that sounds weird or not!!lol.

Malc said...

Thanks for all the kind comments and words of support. Briggsy is completely recovered now and thanks to his injection, now finds himself at the back of the queue for slaughter - he'll go some time towards the end of February and most of him will become bacon.

And Murph, there's nothing I'd like to see more than Chris Moyles sharing the bottom field with the lads before being stunned by electrodes and then hung up to have his throat cut.