Breeding pedigree Gloucester Old Spot pigs since 2002

Late Summer dampness and consequently my best algae-removal tip

muddypiglets500-min

The ugliness of nostoc commune algae highlighted by the beauty of the ivy

​It has rained every day so far this month, from a short light drizzle to torrential monsoon-quality rain and hailstones. And we haven't even reached the autumn equinox. Which is 22nd September this year if you're interested. The end result of this is the unwanted arrival of nostoc commune. While this might sound like a cult or an indie band it is in fact a type of algae. It has some lovely-sounding names - mare's eggs, star jelly, witch's butter - but it is a scourge. It's decided to cover the entire 176 metre hardcore track in the pig field. It is meandering all over the courtyard garden paths. It's brown, glutinous and ugly. It's hard to eradicate. *sighs*

It appears when it rains or remains damp. In hot or dry conditions it dries up to almost invisibility. But then it comes back at the first shower, and multiplies. I have scraped it up with a shovel but then the problem is where to put it so it won't spread. So not the muck heap or the compost heap or a hedgerow ditch. Finally I dumped it under an overgrown impenetrable bramble thicket, well out of the way. I have since discovered that you can sprinkle soda crystals on it and that defeats it in a way both kind to the environment and animals. Hurrah!

The pig paddocks are holding up well in the rainy weather. The older pigs don't tend to dig much anyway so their paddocks are grassy and full of daisies. The younger pigs dig a lot which creates some interesting puddles in wet weather. The front of the paddocks tend to get trashed more than the back because the pigs run up and down the fence at feeding time. But the pigs don't mind the weather if their arks are warm and dry and straw-filled.

I am in winter-prep mode. If it stands still, scrub or paint it. If it moves, feed it and straw out its ark. In fact, I have scrubbed out all the arks. And there are 16 of them. If it stops raining long enough I will be painting walls next. A pig-keeper's work is never done.

Weather: lowering grey clouds, hailstones


Two new litters - one better behaved than the othe...
 

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017