Farm & Animals » Realisations of Keeping Pigs
Keeping pigs is something that my Grandad always did, and it never seemed so hard. I thought I would share some of the realisations that I have come across in the last month of keeping my own pigs.
Firstly, this is one of my guys in the photo - I have two pigs, they have a decent size run with a water race flowing through one end, and a loose box at the other. Loose boxes are mostly for horses, but we are finding that they are a good shelter for the pigs and the size of the run in front of them is perfect.
It took the pigs about a week to realise that they could push their way through one of the fences. My hubby went out to feed them one morning and one was 'missing'. I still smile when he told me that he asked the other pig where his mate was - I mean hello, do you really think he was going to answer you? "Oink oink, he's over there" So dear hubby climbed into the pen to see where the other one was, obviously gave it a fright and it sprinted straight through the fence. So we were late leaving for work and a meeting, and had to put more fence wires up that night.
It was probably only a few days after that when hubby was out on the roadside unblocking the irrigation intake when he thought he saw two small black dogs on the roadside. Turns out they were our pigs coming over to say hello. He was just getting ready to catch one of them when I came out, called 'here pig pig pig' and they followed me all the way back into their pen. It was dinner time and they knew it. I'm a little disappointed that all the other times they've got out, they won't follow me back into the pen. They must like being out and about more.
Over the next week, they escaped from their pen at least once a day, more likely 2 or 3 times. We discovered that they had dug up the race more, so they could get under the low wires that we had across. We couldn't get the wires any lower, so started driving waratahs into the race to stop them, but this was a bit of trial and error about how many we would need, which is why it took a week.
Once we had stopped them getting through the race, they started digging out through the dirt, which prompted another electric wire to be added lower down. My two brothers were out helping hubby fix this while I went out to find where they had gone to this time. Earlier in the day they had travelled right up the other end of the farm to hang out with the calves and sheep, so I had just left them up there.
I spent about 30 minutes hunting high and low for them, before returning to the pig pen and asked the guys if anyone had seen them. I'd like to thank my youngest brother for telling my other brother and my hubby where the pigs where, but not actually telling the person who was getting them in. We found them in the hay barn, buried under the loose hay, one of them so far in that I had to pull it out backwards because it couldn't go forward and it couldn't turn around.
The final bit of drama from our pigs so far was to dig under the netting fence yesterday and completely dig up a paddock that hubby had sown with seeds only a few days earlier. No surprises, but he wasn't happy about it. I asked my youngest brother, who is staying with us, to give me a hand to get them back in their pen. Sometimes I think I would have done better on my own, especially as I watched him stand there and just let the pigs run past. After doing this a couple of times, I thought I would let my Uncle's pig pup out to give me a hand. I don't think he's going to make it as a pig dog, because instead of the dog chasing the pigs, the pigs were chasing the dog.
Hopefully the last electric wire has been run in their pen, which was finished last night as it was getting dark. I'm pretty sure they tried eating it after it was put live cause there was a hell of a squeal about 5 minutes later. At this stage they are still in their pen, but it's only been 1 day since they last got out, so we'll see how it goes. Our biggest realisation has been that if there is a gap, they will dig it out, make it larger and fit their round little backsides through it!