It was with a heavy heart that I got up on Monday morning to see to the pigs as I knew that my seven beautiful Saddleback gilts, that would have been excellent for breeding, were going.
I had been training the pigs to go into the trailer as pigs get nervous and easily stressed when faced with a new situation so I had been feeding the gilts in the trailer to entice them into the trailer and making it a familiar place for them to go.
Two of the gilts managed to go into the trailer on the first feed and it took only three feeds to get 6 of them in and one nervous gilt finally went into the trailer on the fourth feed so Monday morning we could not believe how easily the pigs loaded into the trailer and were not stressed for the journey.
Unfortunately I was not able to sell the gilts for breeding which would have been my ideal situation as they all had perfect saddleback markings and were pedigree pigs.
As I only have a limited amount of space for pig keeping it wasn’t a viable option to keep them as much as I would have liked to. Luckily for me and not the gilts, I was able to sell them to a company called Taste Tradition who sell rare breed pork all over the country.
I was reading in the British Pig Association’s newsletter at the weekend that in order for rare breed pigs to survive and the Saddlebacks are one such rare breed, then these pigs must be sold for meat. I keep holding onto this thought as I took the pigs to their fate on Monday.
If the gilts hadn’t nearly been sold or if they hadn’t been pedigree Saddlebacks with excellent markings and a brilliant temperament for breeding then I would have been fine with selling them for meat but when when they are given a chance to continue the breeding process you want to let them have that chance, but on this occasion it wasn’t meant to be so if you are sitting in a reastaurant eating rare breed pork and enjoying the meat then the care and attention that was given to my Saddleback gilts was definately worth it.
So with a sad and heavy heart I bid my beautiful Saddleback gilts a fond farewell.