What an amazing Agventure we have had this last fortnight! Here’s a riddle for you . . .
. . . What is black and white and has 40 little legs?
No, it isn’t a caterpillar. Nor is it a mob of short Holstein dairy cows! It is . . . ten new Wessex Saddleback piglets! Matilda the mother pig is proving to be a great mum – very proud and protective. The piglets are all well marked (for their breed type) and seem very healthy. Mrs King and the students will be watching their progress carefully over the next few months. Did you know that the expecting sow makes a big nest just before she gives birth to her piglets? They really are amazing creatures!
The students have been working hard all term, learning new concepts – from crop growing requirements to cost inputs, harvesting, and marketing – and putting their knowledge into practice. They have been able to harvest and sell their own strawberries.
On the less serious side of our Agventure, there was lots of laughter when the students were trying to catch bugs, beetles, and butterflies with their butterfly nets recently – everyone ended up quite out of breath, covered in all sorts of paddock debris (seeds and prickles), and with very few insects! Maybe we just need bigger nets!?
Agricultural Science is great – so much more than pig nests and butterfly nets (try saying that fast ten times!). Ask the Ag students and Mrs King about other things that happen at Green Valley Farm.
Here are some pig facts/terms that you may not know, from Jade King:
Farrow – to give birth, or a litter of piglets
Nesting – sows build a nest just before farrowing! I had to see this to believe it!
Gilt – a female pig that has not been pregnant
Barrow – castrated male pig
Boar – Male mature pig