Friday, 16 September 2011

Wild Things

The day dawned bright and brilliant and I happily trundled myself and the wheelbarrow of food out to the fields to feed the pigs. The buckwheat was already buzzing with bees and above their hazy midst I could see Maybelline's attentive ears pricked up, expectantly awaiting breakfast. Beside her was an equally spiky-eared black pig and I was momentarily surprised at how big the piglets had grown now that a comparison could be made when they stood side-by-side with their mother. Until I realised seconds later that the black pig in question was not one of the piglets but was in fact a wild boar! It had breached the electric fence and was there watching me, smiling I'm sure, then I yelled at it and it vanished off across the fields and through a gap in the hedge. I breathed a sigh of relief, then a gasp of horror as I put the food buckets into the pen and noticed 'evidence'. He, as was now obvious, had left evidence of his 'attentions' and there was now a possibility that Maybelline was about to be pregnant again. NOT part of the plan!

We rushed out to buy further stock fencing supplies and Ben began making a fortress to protect our pigs from further invasions. At 10am the sanglier was back and was picking a fight with our two adult boars. Max of course is not castrated and had the full measure of male hormones flowing through his veins and he was mightily indignant that this savage had indulged with his mate. It was getting nasty. We had to go out with sticks and chase the wild boar off and move Max and Co up to protected quarters.

An internet search informed us that wild boar are crepuscular, not totally nocturnal as we had thought. This means that they are active at the beginning and end of the day, sleeping through the middle part of the day and the same at night. We waited.

Evening arrived and Ben was still fencing with the help of our expert-fencer, Sheena, but much remained to be done. And guess who else showed up? And he was not up for being chased off. Reluctantly we decided to call a member of La Chasse to see if they could take out the sanglier and an arrangement was made for them to call today. We continued fencing into the darkness, both wire fencing and electric and our Singaporean WWOOFer, Gavin, kept watch as to the whereabouts of our wild visitor whilst we ate our evening meal in a relay fashion. Working in the darkness it was quite frightening actually as that tusked beast refused to move further than 10m for the pens and could turn nasty at any point. The fortress was deemed wild boar proof at 11pm and we retired to the house. Ben kept watch until 1am when all went quiet.

It was with trepidation that I went to feed the pigs this morning but all was normal, with no wild boars in sight. And it has remained so for the rest of the day. La Chasse have been and gone, leaving a telephone number to call if we see it again as they say that once a boar knows where a female pig is he will constantly visit. Max is being driven demented as Maybelline is definitely on heat on the other side of his wire fencing and yet he can't get to her. So it's a waiting game for all of us!

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