I was winding up a great visit with family out west where I got to meet our new beautiful baby granddaughter. These visits are treasured and the time always goes to fast! As I was packing Hubby called and although we thought we had a week to ready ourselves for the arrival of the piglets, he said that the farmer we were purchasing them from was ready for us to pick them up the night after I was to get home. I spent the flight from the West to the Midwest reading my pig book I purchased while out there. I read it cover to cover. The morning after I got home we had a day to finish the pig pen. The idea was to build a small pen off the old goat shed which stands in an already much larger fenced in area.
There was the general debate at first, familiar to other projects, where I feel there should be more discussion and referencing to readings and hubby is thinking time is awaistin’ and let’s get it done! He is amazing when there is a physical job to be done, he just doesn’t stop until it is completed. Sometimes I make him break for food, I can guarantee you no one has ever had to ask me to do that!
So, I’ve added a new skill to my list of “skills in progress”! I learned how to wrap the wire connectors around the T posts that secure the hog panels for the pig pen. Although I am not quick at it at all, it did mean he could start working on another part of the fence while I, all too slowly worked on this task. Each one got a little easier. Hubby could still do four blindfolded while I do one though!
We started with a very small pen. One of the things I read about was that a small pen would not allow the pigs to run away from us, therefore, we could all get to know each other. The theory is that if you try to get to know them in a large space they can run away when you approach them. They also learned that we had the food, so now if we go into a large space where they are, they will come to us thinking we have food for them, therefore allowing us leverage in gathering or handling them. I have to say it’s astounding how much pigs love their food. Each time I go to feed them they sound as if they haven’t been fed in a week, with all their oinking and squealing… and for the record, I now fully know the meaning of “eating like pigs”, wow! In general, the pigs warmed to us quickly, pretty much one back scratch, one bowl of food and we were their new BFFs!
After a proper getting to know one another period, Hubby enlarged their area for night time…and also put in electric fencing to give them their first slice of what will be a rotationally grazed area within the old goat fencing. They also now have a lovely wallow, and they literally define the word as they sink down into it with grunts and oinks of enjoyment!
In keeping with the other livestock on the farm, I wanted them to have names. Since it is possible we may do this each year (assuming all goes well this year) and possibly get more than two next time, I thought a good way to track them over the years would be by naming them A-Z much like hurricanes, excuse the comparison… Meet Ada and Bessie.