Jason Gibbs

Pigs, Poultry and Poo

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Pigs, Poultry and Poo is the story of two people who change their lives and discover a whole new world. Their first step is a move from living and working in the city to rural life and a two-hour commute. Over the five years recounted in the book they mature from feckless beginners to hardened country folk, shedding only the occasional tear when an animal dies. Their animal adventures start with a cat, before they move on to goats, and then chickens. Slowly building confidence they haphazardly add cows, pigs, alpacas, geese and ducks to their smallholding, before reaching a limit. On their journey they discover that cats like to sleep, that goats are poor predictors of the weather and that there is a serious possibility that a cow could jump over the moon. They pick up new skills, such as fencing, which they get to practise again and again as various animals helpfully demonstrate where they have gone wrong. There is occasionally the semblance of a plan, but often events overtake the couple and they have to learn to be resilient in the face of adversity. The animals have plenty of character, from the nervous goat and the grumpy cow to the randy pig. Looking after animals is often not easy, but at least for one newly countrified pair, it's deeply satisfying.
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354 printed pages
Original publication


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