Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Pigs

We have pretty much every animal on my farm: beef cattle, chickens, a few loud guinea hens, 3 ornery geese, sheep, goats, two dogs, and a bunch of barn kitties that roam at will.  Well, three days ago a kind neighbor called and asked if we wanted 3 little piglets.  After a few minutes of thinking, we said yes.  So now, there are three little piglets that are living in a horse stall until they are old enough to go out on pasture.  These pigs were born in an extremely conventional (for the United States) pig operation, called CAFO units.  Now these 3-week-old piglets are living in a wildly different setting at our farm.  They have will have lots of sunshine and grass and I think they're going to be very happy.

Piggy naptime.  They're babies, so they spend quite a lot of time
sleeping and chewing on things.
Contemplative pig.
I promise, this is the last time you will ever see a pig butt on my blog.
But look!  It's a perfect heart and no, that wasn't tattooed on.

Since we've gotten pigs, I am remembering all of these books and stories about pigs.   Of course, there's the classic Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, but there are many others.  In Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, there is a story about somebody taking a pig for a ride on a bobsled.  All I remember about that story is it was funny.  Then there's the Beatrix Potter book, Pigling Bland.  There's the famous Charlotte's Web, the pigs in the Richard Scarry books, the stories about Olivia the pig, and dear old Babe: The Gallant Pig.
The waterer.  It's just a pvc pipe with a little tappy-nipple thing like
rabbits use.  These smarties figured it out without any coaching on our part!
The shoelaces on boots make excellent chew toys.
Apparently chewing on the feeder and an old rag is very fun.

This is just a smidgen of the stories about pigs.  I've wondered why there were so many pig stories, but I'm starting to understand it since I got pigs.  You see, pigs are one of the most sensitive and smart farm animals.  They actually remind me a lot of dogs.  They can get very bored if they don't have something engaging to do, they get lonely if they don't have company, and they all have very distinct personalities.  The most rewarding thing about taking care of the pigs is that when you go out to the barn, the pigs have a special happy grunt when they hear people.  All this to say, I think I'm going to like keeping pigs and I can understand why people have liked them for a long time.

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