On Sunday, July 24, 2011 we decided to relocate the pigs. With the help of Uncle Alan and Grandpa Frank we used some grain and plastic pallets to guide the pigs to their new digs.
We had a fifty foot area to across of open danger and the rest of the area was fenced. If we could get them across the driveway then all would be well, but the eighty kilometer roadway was about twenty feet from the initial gate. On a hot July morning armed with buckets of grain and plastic pallets we threw open the gate and tried to entice the pigs towards their new home.
Pigs hate change. Even if change is for the better.
Little pig Ginger followed the sound of the grain pail across the drive and walked slowly and placidly across the black top and through the gate into the next “safe” area. I gave her a little pile of grain to devour while we tried to coax her best pal Charlotte to do the same.
Charlotte weights about one hundred and fifty pounds and was less willing to leave the comfort of her pig paddock. With Brent and Alan brandishing plastic pallets and my dad persuading with a stick we managed to get the big pig out of her old home and onto the driveway.
We had a mission, regardless of what happened, Charlotte would be directed away from the road. Brent and Alan nudged Charlotte with their pallets encouraging her to follow me and the sound of grain into the next fenced area. She was a foot away from entering and joining her friend Ginger when she dove right, pushed past Brent’s pallet and into the far corner of the driveway.
With a little pushing we got Charlotte back on track and into the second fenced area.
The second fenced area belongs to the dogs, who were unhappily locked up during the pig transfer. The dogs were making their unhappiness well know at this point. The noise did nothing to calm the pigs.
With lots of squealing and bit of snorting we managed to get Charlotte into the three acre paddock. We turned to entice Ginger into the same area when the ducks decided to give a hand. With snapping ducks at my heels, barking dogs in my head and nervous pigs running about we really had to focus on calm to get Ginger into the new paddock.
Luckily, Ginger is very food motivated. With a shake of the feed bucket and a wag of her tail we got around the pond and into the new area.
We had no idea Autumn hated pigs so much.
The initial introduction didn’t go so well with Autumn chasing poor Charlotte into the trees. We made a solid area where the pigs and horse could share a fence line. The pigs could come and go as they pleased, but the horse could not enter the pig area.
We built a summer shelter for the pigs with a roof and open walls to let the hot summer breeze flow through. The pigs seem very content in their new digs.
We’re hoping by winter to have the pigs share a closer area with the horse and goats. We would like to share electricity, water and heat during the cold winter months.