Thyme For Ewe Farm

Kelmscott Muriel Penny and Kelmscott Josephine Matilda
Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs

GOS pig

Thyme For Ewe Farm is home to two Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs.  The more spotted pig on the left is Kelmscott Muriel Penny.  On the left is Kelmscott Josephine Matilda.  Penny is an eight year old sow and Matty is a seven year old sow.  They've lived here on the farm for six years.  Matty, also known as Tilly, is supported by the Peter Wingfield Fan Club.  They call her Tilly but to keep our critters straight we call her Matty because we had another Tilly on the farm.

<--  Notice Matty's tail sticking out?  The picture caught her in mid-wag.  She wags her tail when she's happy.  She's just finished breakfast and is heading for her morning nap.

When Matty was in need of a new home I (Robin) tried hard to ignore the email that circulated on homestead and farm email lists for weeks.  We didn't have a barn or even a fenced in area where we could keep a pig.  Gloucestershire Old Spots are a critically rare breed of pig.  Unfortunately she didn't fit into a breeding program and needed to be moved to make room for a more useful sow.  If she didn't have a new home to move to her future was short.  I kept myself quiet for two weeks.  I read the emails from very upset people who wanted this pig saved.  A fan club had adopted her through an ad in The New Yorker.  Some of the members had driven to Maine to see this pig in person.  This really wasn't just any pig.  This was Tilly and these folks loved her.  They used to send her fruit baskets on her birthday and for Christmas.  I knew Steve would be furious with me if I volunteered to take this pig but I was weakening.  Finally, a few days before Tilly was to be made into bacon I did it.  "Tell these people I'll take her."  I'd mentioned her to Steve a few times hoping he'd say taking her was ok.  He wouldn't be completely shocked to find out we now owned a 250 lb pig.

When Steve got home from work that night I had to sheepishly tell him that I'd said I'd take the pig.  All he said was, "I'm surprised it took you two weeks."  When we arrived at the farm to get Matty we learned of three other pigs needing homes.  We volunteered to bring them home and place them.  Matty was a lot bigger than the 250 lbs we expected.  She rode home in the back of the pickup (inside the cap).  There was no way we could add three more pigs to the back of the truck so we made arrangements to come back with a livestock trailer the following weekend.  Two pigs were placed elsewhere and Penny lives here with us.

The pigs have been a delight.  They're like having 600 pound quiet, lazy dogs.  They love to be scratched.  They're very calm other than an occasional snarling match over the food dish.  We've had them out of their pen for days at a time and not worried about them wandering off.  If we put down a bed of straw for them they'll wander a little then return to the straw to sleep.  The spend far more time sleeping than anything.  Passersby will stop to watch them when they're out.  They really are awesome pigs.

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