Farmer focus: What to do with kune kunes, asks Robert Neill

Three months, three weeks and three days after Percy the Kune Kune boar arrived and the first piglets appeared at Upper Nisbet.

Despite a difficult start to farrowing we eventually had seven. It has been interesting watching their development and at least six of them are thriving.

The runt of the litter is being bottle-fed as well as feeding from her mother and hopefully she will catch up.

We now have to decide what to do with the piglets, although we hope to keep a couple of the gilts for breeding. Our local butcher was a prospective owner, but not to work out how many sausages and hams he could get from them!

The snow has left its mark in the Borders with rumours suggesting about 40 shed roofs have collapsed as a result. Unfortunately we were one of the victims.

The shed in question covered our handling facilities at a steading where we house 150 cows. We were due to start vaccinating and blood testing the cows there. There is some urgency now to get the debris tidied up so we can get the cows vaccinated before they calve.

It was good to get some frost which allowed us to get the cattle courts cleaned out. Hopefully this won’t need to be done again until after turnout.

The interim report of the Brian Pack Inquiry into the future support for agriculture in Scotland has recently been published.

One point we picked up on is the recommendation this change should be implemented in a single step during the 2014 scheme year.

Perhaps it would be more prudent to introduce these changes gradually to make sure systems are developed and tested adequately. However, this report is still a discussion document at the moment and there will be many more ideas to be aired before a conclusion will be reached.

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