Meet Pumpkin & Squash, a pair of Large Black Pigs

December 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Pumpkin and Squash are two very happy, slightly overweight gilts which I am proud to call my animals. They are Large Black pigs, a rare breed and the UK’s only all black pig.

Large Black pigs are good looking animals (though pigs do have a habit of maintaining rude health) with big floppy ears and wide faces. They are massive, the meat is gorgeous and they thrive on a diet of pasture/veg.

My pair have some life: fresh veg daily, plenty of space to skip (suprisingly nimble) around (feed less oats!), near hourly contact with people, Huxley to beat up when they’re bored.

These are the first pigs i’ve ever kept. I think I imagined it to be like getting a very large rabbit, with the pen being like a hutch and all.

I think the moment of realisation that I had not purchased a very large rabbit came when trying to transport new purchases in the back of a Renault Scenic.

I grew extra veg before they arrived and left it in the ground as an arrival ‘gift’. I planned a series of vocal commands and training techniques. I spent hours on my knees in the park collecting acorns as ‘treats’.

The pigs arrived, destroyed their pen door, destroyed the garden, then set up camp outside the air vent honking for constant feeding. When they found my acorn stash (in the shed) they knocked it all over the floor, and set up camp in the shed til they’d gorged the lot. Bold and inquisitive indeed.

The intelligence of pigs deserves a good few posts in itself, more of those to come; suffice to say pigs are amazingly bright, good natured, interactive animals. I cannot imagine ever getting bored of going to visit my pigs.

Pumpkin is a really nice pig. Clever, sweet, docile. Doesn’t scoff her food so fast she has to regurgitate it. Doesn’t try jump on your back every time you bend down. Doesn’t rub its ass on then poo inside electrical sockets (yes really).

Squash is a bad, bad pig. She bites, she’s just really bossy, obnoxious, noisy. She eats like the proverbial pig, jumps all over people and poos in electrical sockets. She’s not very bright either.

Proper farmers might say kill a mean pig (as it sticks in the genes, so top the whole line) and believe me I would, I want to kill Squash, but the bitch has great genetics. I need her babies.

So Squash lives.

Pumpkin’s fate is yet to be decided.


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