The arrival of Edith and Esme

This day had been long awaited.  I had been in touch with a lovely breeder of English Large Black Pigs in Qld many months ago, she had two suitable little gilts (young female pigs) who were were born within a few days of each other (they share a father but have different mothers, therefore are half sisters).  The day was booked for them to travel when they were 4 weeks of age.  This is the best time for them to be take the long journey as they are old enough to be separated from their mother but still young enough to travel safely without being too large or suffering physical distress.  They were to leave their farm early that morning and travel the 4 hours by road to the airport, then travel two flights with a transit in Melbourne before finally arriving in Hobart at 8.30pm.  The whole day my mind was wondering and hoping that our little girls were travelling safely.

Sam had finished building their home (which in itself was a little like the construction of the Hilton!) the weekend beforehand, their yard was constructed within our ‘front’ yard initially so that we could be close to them and keep an eye on their settling as much as possible.  They had fresh hay for bedding, feed on the ready and a water bucket screwed to the post in their yard to prevent it being tipped over.  I settled the kids to bed, and got to trying to distract myself waiting for the call from Sam to let me know they had arrived safely.  Sometime before 9 the call came through, and what a call it was.  I’ve never ever laughed so much (well attempted to muffle my laughter in hope of not to wake the kids!), there was Sam with one stinky pig on his front seat and one stinky pig on the back seat of his work falcon, driving down the highway heading home attempting to talk to me with a chorus of grunts and squeals being echoed throughout his car.  As a little back story, Sam had declined the offer to swap cars that day, adamant that he wouldn’t need my Hilux Ute which we purchased for the purposes of transporting farm equipment etc, but that his work vehicle would be aptly suitable for picking up pigs and driving nearly an hour home late at night…..An offer he may never decline again I suspect, especially after it took numerous days to get the stench of pig shit out of his interior.

Now pigs are cute, and piglets even more so, however, any animal that has been locked in a transport carrier for 8 hours or more is bound to lose some of their cute appeal when the aroma of their crap becomes overbearing….to say that Sam was a little off colour when he finally got them home was an understatement!! However, once we got them out of their crates and into their new home, watched them snort around and curl up together to sleep all was forgotten! They were and still are such close animals, they have a lovely bond and yet such different personalities.  Esme is quite a bit larger (slightly older than Edith by nearly a week) and is definitely boss lady, she loves a scratch on her back and behind the ears, whereas Edith will fall to your feel for a tummy rub.  Esme suckles her food (which I soak for them to soften at this stage) and reminds me of how she must have suckled from her mother, whereas Edith tucks into her foot with full mouthfuls.  They follow each other around and play and chase in a similar manner to puppies would do.  Overall I feel like they are the perfect pet, they do remind me a lot of dogs, and I am loving getting to spend time with them.  Now 3.5 months old they have grown a lot, and have dug up the ground in 3 yards and will shortly need new ground again.  We are moving them regularly to small yards around our home whilst we wait for our ‘pig’ paddock to have the perimeter fenced.  Although the girls are now used to respecting an electric fencing set up, we don’t want to move them somewhere that doesn’t have perimeter fencing in fear that they were spooked and ran off or were harmed in any way.  This external fencing should happen in the next few weeks and then we can take the girls over to their new much larger home and let them move around the paddock turning the soil and grazing on the grass as they desire.

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