The new pig-keeping course for beginners proved to be very popular, with five people waiting for places at the end. We shall run another on Sunday 3 October 2010 - early booking is advisable!
The morning was spent indoors with tutor Kevin Blundell focussing on traditional free-range pig-keeping. Students learnt about legal requirements, the differences between the various breeds, housing and feeding, illnesses, slaughter and butchery.
In the afternoon, everyone donned wellies and warm clothing and walked up the track to see how Kevin keeps his pigs. We saw pigs at various stages of their lives and walked amongst them. Then we visited the latest litters of young pigs, kept indoors. Kevin picked up one of the piglets, who let out blood-curdling screams until released. We also saw the Essex Saddleback boar (weighing 350lbs) in his pen with the current sow, before accompanying her back through the fields to rejoin her sisters. She seemed very pleased to be let out, having spent three weeks with the boar, and dug up an amazing amount of earth in a very short time in celebration.
Comments from participants:
Really enjoyed the course and came away with what I wanted. What really makes it is the hospitality and as ever the food was excellent.
Very good and clear - the practical was good as well!