February 1, 2013


I started out the afternoon singing, "... and THIS little piggie goes to market..." 

I ended the afternoon trying to keep a pig from flying.

In between? Lots of running and being outsmarted by a pig!

It's time to butcher the three not-so-little piggies.  Each pig is owned by one of the guys. Greg decided to take his pig to a local butcher to be killed and cleaned. We had to separate his pig from the other two, get it loaded onto the trailer and drive it to the butcher. Straightforward and easy, right?

Ha! You obviously haven't had to chase a pig down.

This wasn't even a greased pig!  But, man, did she wear us out!

Last night, Greg was reading "Dirt Hog" by Kelly Klober, a book about raising outdoor pigs.  When discussing the methods of escaping confinement used by various livestock, the author says, "Cattle would go over  fence, sheep and goats through any weak spot they could find and chickens under it.  And hogs? Well, hogs being fair-minded creatures, they employed all three methods of escape."  He wasn't joking.

Our pig jumped over the make-shift ramp walls we created, under the trailer hitch, under the paddock gate, around the water trough "blockage", through me and drug the cattle feeder trough frame halfway across the paddock.  Conclusion: pigs are NOT dumb.

We finally corralled her into the barn, backed the trailer up to the barn door and, once the barn door was opened, she meandered easily up onto the trailer. 

Oh, if only that were the peaceful end to this story.

Greg secured two tarps to the top of the trailer to discourage the pig from trying to climb out, to keep her safe and to protect her from the wind.  This was all well and good until we got about three miles down the road and saw a pig head sticking up out the back of the trailer!  I seriously thought that pig was going to try to jump.  The kids were delighted by the excitement. Greg? Not so much.  Me? I kinda giggled quietly to myself while helping re-secure the tarp. This pig was serious about staying on the farm!

We had to stop a few more times to keep the pig from jumping out into the middle of the road. After the third or fourth time she popped her head out, I decided it might be easier to just let her take off.  But we persevered and let out a collective sigh of exhaustion relief once we arrived at the butcher.  Then I had to stand guard to make sure she didn't try for a final escape while we waited to unload her. I'm not really sure what Greg expected me to do had she tried to escape. The pig already spent an hour in the paddock showing me that she was clearly the boss. If she wanted out of that trailer, I doubt there was much I could do to stop her.

She had a happy piggie life, she nipped at Greg's calves daily as he carried feed to her, she got lots of acorns and leftover veggies from the garden. She had a good pig life. She'll be good eats.

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