I had the note prettily written by dawn today, but at some point in the chaos of a two-child, no-school morning, Miranda got hold of the paper I had written it on, and though I’ve searched all her hidey holes, it’s gone, and I suspect she might have actually eaten it. So here is the ten minute version instead, from memory. Ahem.
Mark picked up a new boar this week. He is a two-year-old registered Berkshire, black with white points on his face, tail and feet. He is extremely sweet and cuddly. Do not cuddle him, however, unless you are a sow. He has tusks. My Farm Knowledge book from 1919 suggests that introducing a boar to sows is as delicate as a blind first date.
“At this critical time do not bring in to the young and inexperienced boar an old ugly sow… but rather a gilt or sow of about the boar’s age… Above all, never let the boar run with the sows and mate with any and all sows, repeatedly, or his vitality will be injured and his pigs suffer as a result.”
We put him in with seven brood sows, all of them older than he is and heavier by a few hundred pounds; one old gal has crooked yellow teeth and certainly qualifies as ugly. Maybe some soft lighting, a little Al Green playing softly in the background? The boar’s registered name sounds sexy enough, in a Camaro and satin sheets kind of way: Black Diamond. (Oooh, Mom, says Jane, that’s so fancy!) You can check him out east of the east barn, next to the dairy calves… (Continue reading Kristin Kimball’s Essex Farm Note)