Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Before llamas came pigs!

Having acquired a property that had nearly 4 acres of usable land we had to do something with it. We had to have some animals, and we had to have something that was not full time. We were here to earn a living not to retire and enjoy looking after animals all the time.

The land was not really suitable for much, some of it - the bit to put a single paddock - was overgrown with docks, thistles, stinging nettles and a variety of other weeds, and not much grass. We got a neighbouring farmer to come in with a "topper" and a fencing contractor to fence it off, and then what.... we decided, or should that be, we were persuaded, to put some pigs in there.

Now pigs were supposed to enjoy digging up the ground and eating the roots of all living things, and we were hoping to be left with a paddock that had been dug over, manured organically, and be left with some nice pork as well.

We had five - what a nightmare - they needed feeding at least twice a day, constant drinking (they did enjoy the beer slops from the local pub), and left the paddock looking like a first world war battlefield.

We needed to get a large digger in to level the paddock afterwards (7 months of fattening up), and there were still large areas covered in dreaded weeds again.

We were back to where we started, but did have a freezer (or two) of the most wonderful pork, 100lbs of sausages, and some superb hams, so it wasn't all bad.

So pigs were not for us, so what should we have next.... lots of thinking, but we eventually settled for llamas - why llamas... tune in next time!