Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Pig Time

Last night, I brought home four new pigs.

American Guinea Hog piglets
From left, clockwise: Poomba, Escargo, Porkie, and BB'q.
Our new American Guinea Hog piglets will provide tilling services,
waste management, and delicious meat.
The pigs are purebred, unregistered American Guinea Hogs. The breed is a thick-framed, small-sized, docile breed known for their excellent meat, friendly demeanor, and their lard.

The pigs will be in rotation with the cows and chickens. Cow first, then pig, then chicken. I'll post a more in-depth look when it gets ramped up a bit. For now, they're in an enclosure of hog panels reinforced with wood.

They're too small to test the fencing, and too big to squeeze through the panel holes. I will need to barbed wire the insides before they get too big, though. A project for another day....

We did have one little incident when we brought them home.

Pigs in the van with a tarp under
The piggies in the van, in the big crate with a tarp underneath.
The small crate is in the background in the upper right corner.

We were unloading them from the large dog crate for transport via the smaller one. I had three in the small crate, and was getting Poomba (the male, named by Thing #1) out of the car. He was a tough lil' booger, and took a LOT of effort to restrain. The squealing was horrendous. Wife was helping with the small crate, locking them in after each pig was added. She momentarily left the locked crate to provide backup on Poomba, when lo and behold one wriggled out of the locked crate and disappeared into the night.

The kids stood there and told us, while standing a good 20 feet back and not moving a muscle.

I turned my head to see a small pink shape, 50 feet away, disappear into the night. It was like watching a wad of cash with a curly tail just scamper away.

We got the remaining three into the pen no problem, and searched for the missing pig with myiPhone flashlight with absolutely no success. There was no sign of that stinkin' little pig.

So, we went to bed lamenting the fact that we let a piglet into the wild to become fox food. But when I got up this morning to milk Bridget, there was the escapee, laying outside the pen containing the other three. She would not let me get within 30 feet of her, and kept running around in circles around the pens. I finally set up the big dog crate in a corner (where the side of the pen comes very close to the chicken netting), and corralled her in.

So, after a brief disappointment, we once again have 4 pigs. We named the escapee "Escargo." It's a name after a slippery food, and hints at escape and running away.

Pigs in their pen
All four pigs in their pen. Yay!
I have a real farm now. Chickens, sheep, cows, and now pigs. It's a little crazy, to be sure, but it feels like one of those "so crazy it's sane" type of things.

I pray that I'm right.  :)

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