Final batch of pigs leave the croft

One of our last two Berkshire pigs moves down the race to be loaded.

We took our last two Berkshire pigs to the abattoir today, a job made more complicated by the death of one of the porkers, a last-minute change of abattoir and a last-minute change of butcher. Still, we got everything organised in the end and were up early to load the pigs today.

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The easiest way to load pigs into a trailer is to let them do it themselves, while blocking off lines of retreat. Today was no different. I sprinkled a handful of sow rolls in the trailer and on the ramp, opened the gate from the pen into the race and stood back. After a few minutes, the pigs trundled down the race and, after a few stops to check the scenery, loaded themselves.

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The only problem, as far as the pigs were concerned, came when I shut the trailer’s gates behind them, preventing them from getting to the remaining sow rolls.

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With the pigs loaded, the next job was to get the boys loaded. Their schools had teacher training days, giving them the day off and a last chance to come on the abattoir run with me. 2012-11-12pigs4

“Is this supposed to be open?” The boys had to say goodbye to the pigs before we left. Normally, they just have a look but as these were our last two pigs the boys wanted to give them a final scratch before they went. As soon as the trailer’s side door was opened, an inquisitive pig appeared.


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A picture of pig relaxation. The boar, in particular, was extremely fond of ear rubs, which made him go weak at the knees and collapse sideways. In this case, that meant onto the gilt who wasn’t best pleased at being used as a pillow. With the pigs loaded, farewells done and boys loaded, we headed off to the abattoir in Elgin.

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2 Responses to “Final batch of pigs leave the croft”

  1. What will you do with your (copious ;) ) spare time now there’s no pig related task left on the croft?

    • I’m rebuilding parts of the house. There’s still crofting work to be done: trees to fell, firewood to chop, vegetable beds to dig, poultry to manage, etc etc. I coach rugby. I’m studying with the Open University. I’m writing a manuscript based on this blog. I have the domestic chores to do. And so on.

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