Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pigs: Relocating the Breeders

Finding a location for the pigs was hard. Actually relocating them was harder.

"Mamas - Destroyer of Worlds"

I actually slept through the moving of Mamas. The roof was leaking in the early morning hours, and the dripping sound made it hard to sleep, so when the sun came out and the dripping stopped, I went fast to sleep. I didn't hear any noise outside, so I asked my son how it went. He said, "Mamas didn't want to get in the trailer." That was no surprise of course, but I wondered why I hadn't heard anything. Did she really just walk out of her pen, up the ramp, and into the trailer? It couldn't be. I got showered and dressed as quickly as I could to be sure not to miss the moving of the other two.

"Wilma - The Pig No One Cared Enough to Even Name"

When the truck and trailer returned to pick up Wilma, I grabbed my gloves and went outside. We were armed with eggs and corn to encourage her, but she was disagreeable from the start. Mr. Farmer and his partner put a rope around her neck while Young Master Farmer, the Neighbor Boy, The Partner's Girlfriend and I lined the path between the gate and the back of the trailer, leaning on the ladders that were the temporary guide rails. Wilma really "didn't want to get in the trailer." She screamed like a banshee while Mr. Farmer pushed and his partner pulled and the rest of us body checked her from both sides until she was in the trailer. It was exciting... and it was LOUD!

Within moments of the trailer being closed and locked, Mr. Farmer's phone rang. It was a concerned neighbor who was getting phone calls asking what all the noise was. Mr. Farmer curtly informed him that we were moving the pigs, as instructed, and that they can all deal with the noise since it was what they wanted in the first place. His partner then shouted to any and all who could hear that they should mind their own business. A direct quote of what he shouted would not be appropriate. *Blush*

"Tiffany - Prince of Darkness"

As a general rule, Tiffany is our most agreeable pig. We are surprised by this, since boars are supposed to be - well - boorish, and he has been forced to live alone (which is uncomfortable for most pigs) to avoid any unscheduled pregnancies. As the last to move, he was responding well to being led by food toward the gate. He didn't even scream when we put the rope around his neck... at first.

All was going well until he bolted. He was heading straight for the trailer, so we just braced ourselves behind the ladder-walls and hoped he kept straight. Two steps before the ramp, Tiffany turned and raced back to the pen. The men wrapped the rope around a tree and let him rest a bit, then tried again. This time he bolted for the fence and tore right through- heading for the woods! The men were able to get the rope around a tree with Young Master Farmer's help. I gave Tiffany an egg to help calm him down, moved one of the ladders to change the direction of the chute, and braced for doing this the hard way.

Mr. Farmer pushed, his Partner and Young Master Farmer pulled, and Neighbor Boy steered. Tiffany screamed like a howling wind in a horror film as four men man-handled him toward the trailer. Just before the ramp, the rope slipped off Tiffany's ear. Neighbor Boy threw himself bodily on top of the 400 pound pig. Young Master Farmer put his shoulder into Tiffany's. Mr. Farmer grabbed Tiffany by the back leg and drove him like a wheelbarrow forward as his partner pushed back against him with the rope to get it back over his ear. In these same positions the rest of the transfer was made until the men (except Neighbor Boy) and the pig were in the trailer and the Girlfriend, Neighbor Boy and I closed up the trailer and locked the gate.

When the men exited the trailer through the smaller front door, we were all shaking. We checked ourselves and each other for injuries, since there was no way we were feeling anything with the amount of adrenaline we had running through us at that point. Aside from a few scratches from the barbed wire and what will surely be some aches in the morning, no one was injured. No one was kicked, scratched, or bitten. All in all, it was a successful transition.


I am sorry that the pigs are gone. I won't miss the smell or the worry that someone will try to make trouble for us. But the pigs were a great source of joy for Mr. Farmer, and the compromise of raising them elsewhere is hard for him. Using our yard in a more traditional fashion is a nice idea, but it is hard for me to see Mr. Farmer so upset. I really hope that one day we can raise them at home again.


  1. :o( Poor Piggies. I know how much you loved them. Sad to see them go. ((HUGGS))

  2. Thanks. We still get to see them, it just stinks that we have to go so far to do it. It was better when they were right here.

    PS- Mr. Farmer would like to say that this account isn't completely accurate. I must admit that there are probably details missing (I know I left out that he lost his glasses at one point, and he insists that he lost them more than once). In my defense, the whole thing happened quite quickly, and I am only telling the story from my point of view. As always, my offer for Mr. Farmer to guest-post on this blog stands (with me as editor, of course. It is still MY blog, after all.).