Saturday, April 25, 2015

Free Pigs

Our three piglets may like mud when it is very hot but the constant rain and showers over the past fortnight have made their pen into a quagmire. The only place with even a small amount of dry solid ground was their house. It wasn't fair or healthy for them and we were too busy to change or extend their pen.
The pig pen swamp after days of rain
There was only one thing for it. Free the pigs and let them roam. There was a real risk of them escaping from the paddock as pigs are curious creatures and a 60kg porker can push through almost anything it likes. However pigs are homebodies so we figured they wouldn't get far and would always come back if offered food. After switching off and parting the electric fence wire and opening up one panel of the pen Blanche, Petunia and Maude were off. They soon encountered Curly, Princess and Honey the goats who were busy eating some Lucerne hay for breakfast. The pigs decided they quite like Lucerne as well. The video below shows what happens when two sets of omnivores decide they both enjoy the same pastime - eating anything. This morning's mix of Jerusalem artichokes, apples, quinces and pig pellets proved very popular.

The pigs have decided to share the orchard with the ponies rather than the paddock with the goats and are busy turning it into a ploughed field. Tomorrow we will rebuild their pen on dryer ground provided we can shift their home from the swamp. Whether their taste for freedom will encourage them to escape or their respect for the electric wire will keep them in, remains to be seen. With their one bad day fast approaching they will have to savour the joys of freedom while they can.

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