We have been meaning to get pigs for ages - in fact there was a distinct possibility that we were turning into those irritating people who say they are going to do something and never ever get around to it. they just talk a lot.
I had begun to get worried that pig keeping was becoming trendy - Liz Hurley et al - and as I tend to run away from trends we decided that now is the time.
So we have 2 unnamed Oxford Sandy and Blacks - ideal outdoor pigs - who are living in our rough field alongside the chickens with an electric fence to stop them getting into the henhouse and eating the eggs.
They will be with us for only about 10 weeks at which point they will be the right size for slaughtering locally. we could keep them longer and feed them up but we would not be able to use the local abattoir.
I know that the idea of killing animals is a great problem for a lot of people and I think that, if you are a vegetarian then that is fair enough. But we eat meat and we want to know where our meat comes from, we want the animals to be treated well - and for a pig that means living outside with plenty of room to root and forage. We want the slaughter to be humane and not involve a lot of travelling. We want to be sure that every part of the animal is eaten - not just the chops and fillet. So yes - these will be destined for brawn - we respect them too much for anything else.
It will be interesting to see how the children cope - Zoe has said that she wants nothing to do with the pigs as she loves pork. My mother thinks she has bred a monster - my father wants some pork.
They seem to have settled in well but have spurned Euan's lovingly made pig house and are sleeping amongst the long grass under a broom tree.
For anyone local looking for organic outdoor reared pork I recommend Peter and Liz Candy at Easter Ballat Farm, Balfron Station - 01360 440 480.