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After a pretty mild Winter, Nova Scotia has been hit with a major Winter Snow Storm! More snow in one Weekend than All Winter! Compared to other areas like Halifax, and Cape Breton, where they declared a State of Emergency, we got off easy here in Bear River.
However, after a pretty decent Saturday, We got hit over night as the Temps dropped and the snows moved in. Leaving our Berkshire Sow, Lara, and her three daughters out in the cold. So to speak. It also used up most of the battery on our Solar Power Electric Fencer. Thankfully, even in these conditions Lara and Her Gals respected the fence and stayed in their pasture. Although they were waiting and glad to see me when I got there today!
Pigs really are incredible creatures, and while they only need minimal shelter to weather storms, it was a bit much! They were ready to get out of the elements, but we’re also patiently waiting for me when I got to them today. They, as they most always do, faithfully followed me back up the hill from their pasture to the Barn.
Once inside they were, of course, happy to eat, but they weren’t shivering, nor were they overly food aggressive. Pigs are always happy to eat, and always at least a little too excited and somewhat aggressive when they are presented with Food. So, even though, as the video shows, the tips of their hair was covered in snow and mostly ice, they weren’t really as bad off as I thought they might be! Thankfully.
See, Lara’s daughters are part Mangalitza, also spelled Mangalitsa, or Mangalista, and they have woolly hair that covers them and help keep them warm. Pigs also have a layer of fat under their skin that helps act as insulation.
What happens, even with Lara who’s a Berkshire Pig, is they grow a somewhat thinker coat in the winter. This helps, as the heat from their bodies keeps the hair closest their bodies dry and the ice forms on the tips. Even when faced with cold temperatures, I think it was about -7°C or 20°F over night, with mixed precipitation. While They’re usually not out in that, the best laid plans of mice and men, and apparently pigs, often go awry! To loosely coin a phrase from Bobby Burns in His poem, “To a Mouse“.
Anyway, by the end of the day all were back in the Barn and as warm as Pigs in a Blanket! Well… Almost! 😉