Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Swineherd!

Piglets are something else, let me tell you. Every one of them is different and every pair or foursome I buy and raise has their own personality and way about them. This little group of Berkshire/Hampshire crosses is a little special, and possibly, well train? Hear me out:

So my piglets are in the woods in a pen/shelter area surrounded by a woven wire fence and some electric wiring at the snout-level. Four pigs were raised in this set up last year and save one incident, never escaped. But these little guys, they have figured out a new way nearly every week! And when I patch it up, lower the wire, strengthen the fenceā€¦ they thwart that. We have a fine game of chess going and when I came back from hunting today I could see it was my turn to move. All the pigs were out on the lawn, trotting along and rooting through the last bits of layer pellets in the chicken feeder. Oh boy!

With other pigs I would have panicked, but with this crew I just smile. They do not need to be chased and tricked, all they need is my hog call, "HHHHhheeeeeeyyyyy peeeeeggggs!" and they trot behind me like I'm a piper in a storybook. They follow me right back into their pen through an open door, easy as letting in a cat from the rain. At this point I can let them out whenever I want (as long as they are a little hungry, that is!) and let them explore and grub about. They don't run off, they don't want to be far away and I like seeing them scamp. They are, of course, piglets and can only do so much damage. I suppose if they were big pigs I may not feel so liberal about their free time. But for now, while they are cute and small and the leaves are still green on the maples - I can play swineherd of the thicket. Oh boy is right! Didn't see that one coming when I was sitting in my 200th hour of typography classes in college, now did I?

"HEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYY PEEEEEGGGGGSSSS!"

5 Comments:

Blogger phaedra96 said...

We lured our piglets with marshmellows. So help me. We kept a bag on top of the shelter. Fed the babies miniatures and they squalled when we reached for the bag. When they were growing closer to market weight, we bought the larger size. If we ever had a jail-break, they scampered for the back door of the house knowing they would be rewarded. I am soooo appreciative of blatant bribery!!

September 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Ginny said...

You, my dear, are a delight. Found your blog by word of mouth and am loving it. Trying to figure out if there is a time I can manage the 6 hour drive past Philly and New York to come for a visit!! As a fellow rider and hopeful homesteader, I look forward to reading more. (I think I've tried to comment a couple other times, but as my cell phone is my only connection to the digital world it doesn't always work!)

September 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Cat H said...

You never cease to amaze (or amuse) me!

September 4, 2014 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Awww! Did the other peggies make it to the freezer? I didn't think they could have been big enough already....Wow! Time flies when you're raising pigs!

September 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger sandalfoot said...

I love the sound of your days. Just knowing that there is somebody, there are people out there, like, you, finding delight in piglets outwitting and scampering, is something to behold. Joy to your world!

September 7, 2014 at 9:35 PM  

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