Keeping cool in the heat wave.  Maybe people should try mud rolling, followed by a tub sit…

Keeping cool in the heat wave.  Maybe people should try mud rolling, followed by a tub sit…

It has been a busy, busy summer here!  After the endless spring rains came to a finish, we were finally able to move the pigs and their shed to the back field…..far from the house.  And it is a good thing.  Between the summer heat and the way the pigs tear up the ground and, um, fertilize, we are grateful to have to take a walk to visit them now.   

It has been a busy couple of weeks!  Here is an abridged version of all that has happened lately.  

Mother’s Day weekend all the kids came home and helped out with a few remaining projects. We were pretty lucky with the weather.  It was sunny and warm for the time of year with just a couple short, fierce rainstorms thrown in.  In spite of the bouts of rain, we managed to get the corrugated metal roof on the barn, which was the final layer to make it water tight. Just in time!  We also installed an automatic pig water system which involved attaching a 50 gallon drum onto the side of the barn.  From there, a hose runs down to a chunk of tubing that connects to 3 metal nipples, similar to a hamster water bottle but much larger.  The pigs figured out how to use it immediately with no coaxing.  

We experimented with the pigs’ tastes in foods.  Citrus was not a big hit at all but pineapple was.  They ate eggshells, coffee grinds, a bagel,  pizza, and a couple baking experiments that didn’t turn out in addition to their grain.  Food they don’t like quickly turns into a toy and starts a game of chase.

It was great for the pigs to have a bunch of people around.  By the end of the weekend we could see a huge difference in how comfortable the herd is around humans.  Dan even managed to pick one up.

This past week we have been enjoying observing piglet behavior.  They spend their day alternating between napping in a big pig pile, rooting, eating and playing.  The playing is hysterical.  One pig will get fired up and start dashing around, goosing and chasing other pigs.  Then another pig will join in, then another and another until the whole herd is racing around.  Rooting is also pretty fascinating.  Their entire fenced in area was turned from grass to plain dirt almost instantly.  Their snouts seem to be made of the strongest muscle to turn over and dig through the earth for roots and bugs.

We are definitely learning from the pigs and fine tuning their living set up.  We added barley straw to their water container.  I read that this simple additive will help discourage the growth of bacteria.  Oh, and a hand painted Mother’s Day gift was hung from the barn.  Click through the photos to check it out!

One last thing - the baby chickens arrived this past weekend!  We have 24 yellow fuzzy chicks currently residing in the house.  I can’t wait to see what they look like when their adult feathers come in.  They are much different looking than the Barred Rock’s and the Black Sex - Links we got last year.

Enjoy all the pics and look for some video clips of the piggies, coming soon.

Big Pig Day

Yesterday was a big pig day - their first full day at their new home.  They are still pretty skittish but that is to be expected.  They are away from their mama now and in a new place with totally new smells, sounds and sights.  Today they started exploring their new quarters more and even stepped out of the barn to check out the yard.  We were able to get much closer to them today than yesterday.  We are also starting to signs of the more aggressive pigs establishing dominance over the passive pigs.  Imagine lots of shoving and squealing…..Can’t wait to see what’s new in pigland tomorrow!