Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas is coming......

and the goose isn't getting fat - not around here at any rate. I left it too late to get one this year, as I was a bit concerned I didn't have enough grass to keep them going until it was time to fatten them up for Christmas. Next year my plan is to get a breeding pair and raise some.

Keeping the pigs has cost rather more than I realised - they certainly won't be the cheapest pork we have eaten, but at least they will have had a damn good life and eaten well in the meantime.

I have had an unexpected trip back to the UK since the last blog. My 66 year old Aunt died of cancer, so I headed back to the UK to go to the funeral. She lived in Yorkshire and they don't half talk funny up there!!
Everyone called me 'love' and they call baubles 'wasslecups' (actually it can't be that because I just googled wasslecups and the mighty google had no results. Either I completely misunderstood or they were making it up - perhaps someone can enlighten me).

Anyway it was lovely to get home, and although it is cold here the snow has gone and we are all wanting some more for Christmas day - unfortunately the forcast is for rain, bah humbug!! I'm still getting Christmassy though


  1. We're just costing out our pork too...and a big factor is what I think of as an exorbitant price to buy in piglets....so we're keeping a female back for producing our own and then, if it works out we can give the ladies who pick our coffee a starter piglet apiece next year.
    They can afford to feed one, but not to buy one.

    Ours have been stuffing themselves on plantains, coconuts and fruit I don't even recognise on top of the usual rations of meal and sugar cane.

  2. Try Wass Ale on Google. Its a traditional thing!!

  3. We have also come to the conclusion that you need to breed them yourself and also grow the crops for them to feed on, so you are not paying astronomical amounts for the hard feed. Its a lesson learnt - yours sound like they have a fabulous diet!!
    Wass ale on google still says nothing about baubles anonymous!! perhaps you can enlighten me further!!!

  4. I wondered where you were, was about to email to see if all was OK. We are still snowed in here. Nigel on antibiotics for bronchitis and feeling rotton. Discovered all my pumpkins and potatoes frozen solid where I had stored them in the garage. I am not impressed!!
    Whatever have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
    I also will talk funny to you, its that S.African accent :) Diane

  5. oh don't get me wrong Diane - I love accents, it was just strange there were so many words they were using that I had absolutely no clue about!! blimmin' southerner!!

  6. Hi Roz.We are also groaning under the financial weight of feeding our pigs. No sign of piglets yet, but perhaps that is for the best as we do not really have the right environment for piglets right now, although we could manage if we had to. Lester feeds pig grain twice a day to ours. We did have a good harvest of squashes, courgettes and marrows, and these kept very well until they were used up. In fact, the pigs had most of the harvest and the kitchen saw hardly any. Acorns in abundance we had, so these were picked up, but Lester gave them directly to the pigs. This I would not do again. For next year they will be kept for this lean time of the year. I find tossing handfuls of acorns across their paddock gives the pigs something to do during the day, and I can still find acorns about even if I get frozen picking them up! We also had a few bales of hay left here after the farmer cut our field during the summer. These were supposed to be for the sheep, and they do indeed eat it. However, they also waste a huge amount, so as an experiment I picked up from the ground an armful of hay and stuck in in the pig's house, thinking it would do as bedding along with the straw already there. But no! They launched themselves into the hay with great joy, so now that is also given to them most days. But for next year: Loads of squash, etc, also potatoes, and mangels, which grew well despite not being looked after. But phew! Not easy being a smallholder, is it Roz!

  7. I thinnk its wasail Roz. Although i thought it was a south west thing. It was on a Rick Stein thing recently.

    Hope your all well. We're missing France terribly. Can feel a long weekend at Gouhaut coming on....

  8. Vera I read somewhere that pigs couldn't eat hay - if yours are ok I might try some then!! I'm also sure that when one of them appeared to have stomach ache it was probably due to the wheelbarrow full of acorns that I had swept up at work and given them - maybe just a bit too much at once. You're right, its a learning curve but I love it!!
    Al - misty here this morning but no snow - let us know if youy want a lift from the airport!!

  9. Have just researched, Roz, and hay is OK for pigs. Ours are fully grown adults, though, which perhaps makes a difference. Yours are still babies, aren't they. But straw is no good apparently, but our pigs will still eat the grain left in the straw when it is first put down for them. As for acorns. I think because they are already adult, the acorns didn't have any effect on them, but they were getting other food supplements as well. As you say, one heck of a learning curve!


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