Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pig Adventures: Vol 2: Part 1

Well we picked up our babies yesterday and we have certainly learned a lot since our last set. The farm we purchased them from was a much nicer place to get pigs, they actually lived on real dirt and no hard, cold cement slabs. The wife is the pig farmer while her dh has a day job. They have a great operation that they have partnered with a neighbor to run. It is huge. Anyway, we will be getting more pigs from them in about 6 weeks.

Yesterday we picked up 2 girls, Missy and Pinky, and 1 boy, Blackjack. Each will be evaluated as they grow, to determine if they will be suitable for breeding and the rest will be sold as butcher hogs. Missy is a tiny little thing, the runt of the litter actually but full of spunk. Pinky is a bit bigger and a fairly mild mannered girl. Blackjack on the other hand is a solid guy, the largest of the litter and a real cutie. The babies we pick up in a few weeks will bring potential mates for him and a suitor for his sister(s), if they are chosen.

We started phase 1 of cleaning out the mobile home yesterday and 2 different strangers came to see it, to potentially buy it. We also have a few inquiries from my craigslist listing. Today we will begin phase 2 of the clean up and hopefully we will be done. The pigs got quite a response yesterday as we took them with us to the mobile home, there were a lot of people so tickled by seeing piglets.

Dh helped to recapture Missy while we were at the farm and really figured out how it was done. When we finally got home he opened the main gate to the corral and shut the cows out in the arena. I pulled the trailer into the corral area in front of the barn and he got in. A neighbor from the mobile home park gave us an old boat light that he didn't need, it plugs right into the cigarette lighter, it was perfect. I shone the light into the trailer and dh caught the pigs and took them one by one to their new home.

The three walked the area and sniffed and tasted everything, it was too cute. They are smaller/younger than the last bunch. We have 2 areas fenced off for them, the smaller of which will be for Blackjack as he gets older. Since they are social creatures, he will be next to his girls but not in with them.

We are also going to be working on the loading chute for the pigs, we were really impressed by the simplicity of the design at the farm. We got great tips from what they've learned and the most important tip was, don't make it wide enough for the pig to turn around. We will also work on making pig shelters in the old garden next to the barn and over by the lean to, this will give us more areas to move pigs as needed. We will also be looking getting some fill dirt for the old pig area in front of the barn and install a drainage system, to prevent future flooding.

All in all we were really pleased to get the pigs and get them settled without incident. I am really eager to see if they will have a similar temperament to their mother, she is so calm and was actually in the same pen as the babies when they were being caught and loaded. She was given some nice weeds from the garden and was completely unconcerned by the whole affair, lol. Pics coming soon :)

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