Tag Archives: free range pigs

The least eventful arrival of piglets event, ever.

It was kind of a long car ride, but they were almost worryingly quiet, and hardly stinky either.We’re home!  Yeah, yeah.  Not excited. I wheelbarrowed their kennel over to the new home, and they rode that journey like champs, sitting up, their sniffers working overtime.  Just as fast as they could, smelling everything about the new environment.  The wet, sprouting field, the damp forest.  Me.  SNIFFSNIFFSNIFFSNIFFSNIFF!

Once in position, I left them for almost an hour to sleep off the nerves and motion sickness of the trip, to get used to the new surrounding smells and sounds, and for me to do decontamination after being out in The World.  I opened the door.  They looked at me,  turned around, and … laid back down.A half hour later: She’s out! Oh, here he comes! They’re so little!  The smaller female pig especially, seems so small.   Yet, it’s already clear she’s the leader in all things.

They’re just babies!  Shaky, stumbley.

They were so into rooting that they barely stepped out of the box and got completely preoccupied with it. OMG, dirt!  This is what my nose is made for!  They spent most of the next hour right here in front of the house.  There was no need for a fence at all.

Right away I realized they were too small to use the water trough I built and I had to give them a saucer, and put their food and water right next to them.

They could hardly eat out of the tub without standing their front legs in it.  The girl pig gave pushing over the food tub a good shot, and couldn’t! They were also really into all the branches, gnawing and sucking, some pleased pushing, and some preliminary tugging.

I was concerned they weren’t capable of getting into their house because of the 1×6 along the bottom and considered that I’d have to take it off.  They’d stand their front legs on it and look in longingly at the hay, then give up.  They pushed and pushed on the kennel, apparently wanting to go to bed in it, but I had shut the door, to encourage them to sleep in their house.

They got more and more invested in gnawing, pushing, and rooting, grunting happily, still without exploring past their doorstep, until finally, after the chickens were in bed, both of them just leaped over the 1×6 like it was nothing and burrowed into the hay.

This morning they were out early for a bite to eat, then promptly went back to sleep for hours.  I get it.

Ready for piglets

The piglet yard is all set up and ready to go.  Right by the house, so I can keep an eye on them.
This is from the porch.  I’ve never put the pigs this close.

They come tomorrow.  I am overwhelmed with my own cleverness here, designing this for a water trough they can’t flip over.  That means I’ll probably be lucky to get two weeks  before they conquer it.  It’s always unwise to think you’ve outsmarted a pig.

In fact, it’s probably just best to assume that the pig has it figured out better than you do.  Oh, they prefer to sleep over there?  Probably a reason.  They won’t eat that?  Probably a reason.  They know exactly how the fence works.  They know you’re awake.  They know you’re late with dinner.  Etc.

Nosey, involved in the R&D process.  When isn’t Nosey involved, seriously?

I made the pig A-frame smaller today, cutting down the steel and the length of the sides, and added two long 1×6’s, for skids, so it’s much more comfortable for me to drag around by myself.  It travels quite well now.  Unfortunately, the entrance side of their house doesn’t face my house, so I’ll have to walk around to spy on them sleeping, but oh well.  I didn’t feel like turning their house around.

I’ve made  a big cozy nest, with surround hay bales.  It looks perfect to me, so they’re sure to ruin it immediately.  They always have their own ideas about comfort and quickly renovate.So, tomorrow,…the almost-annual piglet introduction drama event.

pasture pigs

The wild birds are well fed.  They’ve been cleaning out my crop of sunflowers. From full to this, all in four days.  I grew them for them, but I hoped to ration them out a little better, and for my chickens to get some.

Makes me want to grow a field of them, but then the ravens will come and really clean them out.The pigs are moved again, now in the “pasture”, which is much easier to move the fence through.  Of course, they are hiding.It was a hot and  humid day (just before it got cold and very rainy), so they were in their brushy bit, covered with mud.