Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mary the Pig arrives

Yesterday we spent a second day trying to get an area set up for the pigs. I finally gave up my pasture shelter (I love sitting in my chair under the shelter on rainy days and watching the dogs play in the pasture) and we put a fence around it to make a little paddock area. A friend gave me the extra roll of wire fencing to fence her in with, and another friend gave me the plastic calf igloo for a little house for her. I stole the t-posts out of the garden. We shoveled a bunch of straw into the igloo, and made a nice little pigpen. She even has a tree to sit under.

When we got to the lady's house to pick Mary and Gilbert up (with a friend's borrowed horse trailer - don't I have the best friends in the world?) Mary loaded right up with a bucket of grain, but Gilbert would have nothing to do with it. We tried to keep Mary occupied in the trailer with grain while we rounded Gilbert up, but he just kept getting more and more frantic. Eventually Mary escaped the trailer, and I used a trick I read on the net - put a bucket over her head, and as she tries to back out of it, steer her rear where you want it to go. That got her back in the trailer and we closed the ramp, but then how could we get Gilbert in?

So we tried wrangling Gilbert for a bit longer, but finally he disappeared into the brush and nobody could find him, even when the lady sent her herding dog in to look for him, so we had to leave him there. She said she had someone who had wanted just one of the pigs, so she might call the guy back, or she might just keep the little guy. Either way, we had Mary loaded up and ready to go. She stood up and peeked over the back door of the trailer as we finished loading up.

So we headed for the long drive home (she was on a farm in Camas, which is a neighboring town), and she did fine, but at a stoplight I felt the van moving from her walking around in the trailer, then in the rear view I could see her standing up and peeking over the door at the cars behind us! I was a bit nervous she might jump out - I don't know if she could jump that high. The trailer was the same one we used to move our llamas in, but they were always tied. Eventually she got down and rode fine the rest of the way home.

At home we backed the trailer up to the pasture and opened the gate and she stood there looking at her new home, then carefully came down the ramp and trotted out into the grass. She just kept going straight until she got to the fence at the far end, then she followed the fenceline around. We took the trailer back and when we got home it was almost dark. She was hanging out by the gate. I let the dogs out, and they saw her in the pasture and went absolutely bonkers! Jack was baying, and had all his hair up. The other two were barking like mad and racing up and down the fenceline. Poor Mary heard the commotion and ran for the hills! She ran all the way down to the far corner of the pasture by the road!

I got the dogs back in and waited a bit, until it was just about dark, and went out to check on her with an apple. I found her in the pasture by the chicken run, and she grunted when she saw me and walked towards me. I offered her an apple piece and she took it. Then another. Then she walked calmly with me towards the pen. I sat down on the steps (a leftover toy for our goats to climb on) and she walked up to the pig pen, looked inside, and went in to check it out. I fed her and gave her the rest of the apple and closed her in, and she seemed perfectly happy. Good pig.



Anonymous said...

She seems kinda easy going... I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead for Miss Mary...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww that last photo is kinda cute.

I wonder if she got lonely and missed her buddy Gilbert?


StefRobrts said...

That's what we're speculating. She was a very nice pig, but man, could she go through a fence like it wasn't even there!