Is a big bum better than a tiny bum? Ah, it’s one to ponder. Certainly for a lot of the animal kingdom, big is better. Take sheep, you’re standing in the middle of a cold, windy field and it starts raining. You might think of finding some shelter. You might think of finding a tree. You might even think of finding a hedge. Mostly you’ll be turning your back to the worst of the weather and trying to work out if the surface area of your own behind is big enough to act as a shield.
Personally, if I was a sheep, I’d be one of the driest in the field. I’d probably even have bad weather friends who’d congregate around my head to stay dry and warm; throwing the odd leg out halfway through the night when they get too hot.
Animals don’t have to worry about fitting into a pair of jeans and having a nice shape. What they want are big friends that they can cuddle up to at night. In the winter I pack my chicken sheds tight so the birds are snuggled together. Same with the pigs, though I do have a worry over one little girly pig.
Pigs get up at dawn, mooch about for a couple of hours, and then go back to bed during the day. Very Spanish siesta.
I do all the maintenance work on the pig pens at siesta time because it’s far easier to get anything done without a clump of pigs helping by trying to eat the hammer, or the saw, or me.
Shammy sow is in with a group of five adolescents. Shammy is a I’m-taking-no-nonsense-and-if-you-upset-me-I’ll-put-my-nose-under-your-belly-and-flip-you-a-summersault kind of mum. Adolescents need a firm trotter, and she gives it. Only, with one of her kids I’m worried she might have gone too far.
When I’m down there working they’re all asleep together in their house. All except one, this little girly pig. She sleeps outside, and I don’t think it’s through choice, I think Shammy won’t let her in, and I don’t think she’ll let her in because she snores.
She can’t help it. It’s not her fault. But it is bad.
I can hear it from the other side of the field. She sounds like a very low flying, stuttering, propeller aeroplane. Only louder. It must be awesome when she’s actually in the house, a house that’s made from acoustically perfect corrugated iron.
Yet she’s seldom in there. Most of the time she’s just outside it, which has been fine throughout the summer, in fact a lot of them sleep outside on the cool earth when it’s hot, but now it’s turning towards autumn I’m getting worried for her.
The way I see it I’ve got two choices, I can either try and cure her snoring, or find her another house. I’m not keen on finding her another house as I don’t want her to be on her own and lonely, so I Googled, Herbal Remedies for Snoring. I didn’t mention it was for a pig.
The first hit recommends you avoid smoking (she doesn’t), limit alcohol intake (mm, as far as I know, but she is an adolescent), sleep on her side (she does), aromatherapy (!), and losing weight.
I could cut her feed back, but she’s got such a big gorgeous bum on her I’m reluctant to put her on a diet.
So I’ve decided to build a lean-to on the house. Actually it’s more of a conservatory as the roof is an old double glazed window, but the wall is solid. It’s not going to be as good as sleeping inside the house, but it’s far better than being completely outside. And besides, her big bum should help keep her toasty warm.