Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hog Wrangling

I've been wanting to raise all sorts of animals for meat. I'm so tired of the processed, hormone filled garbage from the grocery store. I've been trying for awhile to convince everyone that pigs would be a good idea. They are fairly easy, eat a lot of whatever you have..leftovers, veggies from the garden that are no longer edible, basically anything we are not going to eat and then some feed. Did you know that you also get half it's weight in meat? That's better than a cow... So say you have a 600 pound pig when slaughter time comes, you would average 300 pounds of edible meat.. Can you say BACON? Actually I don't love bacon, but everyone else in the family does! So I guess they came around because one day a couple weeks ago Lizzie asked if we wanted to buy a hog. If we would buy the pig and pay for half the slaughtering, then she would buy the feed. Who wouldn't say yes? Ok I am sure plenty of you are saying um ME, are you crazy? Well yes a bit!

So Piggy day comes...and of course we are not ready...not pen, no feed, no anything. Lizzie goes off to get the pigs...and home she comes with TWO pigs.. Apparently they do better in slaughter one for meat, and then sell the other to offset the cost of butchering. Keeps them happy, certainly makes us happy. So here are two ADORABLE pigs in the back of the truck in a kennel...and all sorts of metal and wood parts and pieces to put up. Well of course this happens to be a day when no men are home. You see where this is going right? We decide on a temporary place for them, and realize we will have to pound these stakes into the ground...and wire them...and get the pigs in, YIKES! So I back the truck up, hold the posts and Ma beats them down as much as she can...we put up the temporary wire fencing....Oh hey don't we need those hog panels and a gate? No of course not, let's just get those cutie pie piggies in so we can have fun with them...HA HA HA....and the fun begins.

We carry the kennel through the workshop and out the back door into our poorly put up wire pen?? I guess it's a pen, kinda, sorta...We didn't think about Rascal, our dog being outside. We open the kennel, out comes one comes Rascal and the barking begins....Oh man is he going at it, won't stop...we are kind of stuck in the pen...which is rather funny considering what happens next. He keeps barking and piggy number one runs right through the wire! I mean right through it, no hesitation, nothing...just straight through. My instinct is to grab for piggy number two who is still in the kennel. Well apparently his brain works quicker than my fibro mommy fog brain...and with a small grasp and slip with his back legs, a loud squeal and guess who is right through the wire?

The rest of the afternoon is spent with me trying to get around and behind the pigs to herd them back to our property.. I am running all through the neighbors farm, under tree's and bushes, in the mud around the pond...up the holler....around and around and get the pigs back to the yard, and mom comes at them and quick as you can say Pig the are back in the neighbors field booking for the pond again. I think I did this at least 6 times before I finally could no longer breathe, much less run. We decided they didn't seem to be wandering far so we'd take a break and wait for the men! They'd wander in and out of the yard, through the burn pile, back through the fence in the field, around and around. If I were the pig I'd be dizzy. I'm dizzy just watching the picture in my head.

Want to hear the really funny part? Don and Phil get home...we all go outside. Ma and Phil put some more wire around the pen to make it stronger. So off we go again...Phil goes to the neighbors pond this time...and the rest of us are spread out all over the property just waiting. Here they come, and here comes Phil right with them...slow, steady....and then Ma starts talking...Yep you guessed it, there go the pigs...Phil and Don are laughing. I'm like Nooooooooo....I am determined that these pigs are coming home...Once again Phil goes, Don with him. Here come the pigs again...this time no one talks, everyone walks very slowly and we have slop ready inside the pen with the gate open. After I dunno maybe 30 minutes of rooting and hovering finally those little suckers waltz right into the pen and Don closes them in. So apparently SLOW, slow, SLOW...that's how you get your escaped pigs!

So without further are the piggies...Ham Hock, and Chops safe in the pen!

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