Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pigs in the Pasture

"The “Bigorre” or “Noir de Bigorre” is a very ancient European breed of black pig, with a black hide and narrow, horizontal ears. Although known for its strength and robustness, this is a likeable creature due to a calm temperament and domestic nature.

This breed was fairly dominant until the 1970’s, as it’s not suited to intensive livestock farming, they quickly began to disappear until a handful of dedicated supporters set out to “save the beast” in the 80’s. Since the early 1990’s, approximately fifty breeders, two ham curers and five pork butcher-caterers formed a conservation association. They have since establish strict specifications for the care of and production of Noir de Bigorre, thus sustaining the breed for future generations."

And so our story of the pigs in the pasture began:

We selected two "Bigorre" pigs from a nearby farm in St. Severe. They each weighed around 45 kilos and were the size of a large Cocker Spaniel, although heavier. 

Expat neighbors van came in very handy for transport back to Montegut.

We used the same enclosure and fencing arrangement that the lambs enjoyed last year. The pigs were placed in the pen and immediately found a paradise of organic snacks!

A thick growth of various plants of which they soon made short work.

Happy pigs!

Pig "Eden" Quince, Plum and Pear trees provide some shade. They settled in quickly to their new home.

Fast forward TWO months!!

They have nearly tripled in size and eaten nearly 2 hundred pounds of feed as well as vegetable and fruit scraps from two households twice a day. They also receive grass clippings along with a steady supply of culled fruit from the orchards fruit trees, they particularly fond of the fig tree.

And if you have thanks for reading.


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