Rain – light rain – heavy rain – showers – drizzle – November has brought the lot! Whilst we are not struggling as much as folks in the Yorkshire area, it is VERY wet here. The pigs don’t seem to mind – they are much more agile in the muddy areas than I am but their feet are designed to work well in mud and fortunately, they don’t suffer from the foot issues that seem to plague sheep. A dry December would be very welcome – with regards to the weather that is …. !
Every season brings different tasks on the farm – this month we have been putting in more ‘defensive’ fencing – cutting off sections of paddocks that we know will get very boggy. If we protect them now, they will burst back in to life quickly in the spring.
A new boar arrived on the farm this month – Dai the Large Black. He spent a couple of months here with Frosty the sow last spring and fathered her current litter. He’s back with her again and also with Snowy, Frosty’s daughter from a year ago. He’s a big chap but a friendly one. He took a little while to get used to the electric fence again – I found him on walkabout one afternoon when I went out to feed but he hadn’t gone far and really wanted to be back in the field with his girls!!
Our August flurry of piglets – 30 born over an 8 day period – continue to flourish and some have started going off to their new homes. Others are due to go in the next week or so once we are off Standstill. (Once a pig comes on to the farm – Dai in this case – we go into a standstill period and are not allowed to move pigs off to another farm for 21 days. This rule is in place to prevent the spread of any disease introduced by the new pig. It means some careful planning, but overall, is a good rule)
Early in the month, we were delighted to host the Marlborough Photography Club. Despite the mud and in between rain showers, 15 intrepid photographers joined us for the morning feed round and were enthralled by the pigs, large and small. A few of the good ones have been shared – click through here to see some examples. TREE MANGALITZA SARA AND PIGLETS
The last hatch group of guinea fowl are now free-ranging. Unfortunately, we have already lost a couple but that is, unfortunately, the price we pay for having a fully free-range flock. 🙁 Fingers crossed the others smarten up fast!
If you are panicking about Christmas shopping, we have an idea for you. Come and stay at Buttle Farm in our lovely cottage – visit Bath Christmas Market on Day 1 and follow up with a day at the Swindon Outlet Mall with over 100 shops to browse, all under cover. Spend your evenings relaxing in luxury. Whoever you need to shop for, you can’t fail!! And if nothing else works, buy them a Salami!! We are fully booked for Christmas and New Year, there are still plenty of open dates between now and then AND the rates are the lowest they get all year. Check out some photos and availability HERE.
Christmas orders have been coming in following the launch of the Christmas Catalogue and if you have not already placed yours, I am sorry to report that we are already sold out of ham. Still OK on bacon and sausages but if you are planning to place an order, please email me asap firstname.lastname@example.org !! And if you are cooking on Christmas Day, check out this stuffing recipe – so easy, so delicious – you’ll be glad you did!!
And last but not least, we know it is not always convenient to buy your pork from Buttle Farm, but, if you are not buying from us, please at least try to support good farming practices – here’s a chart that gives you an overview of how the high street retailers are doing – some a lot better than others, so please give them your custom and help us squeeze the factory farms until they squeak!