Thursday, January 7, 2016

Farming Story: Pigs Are Out

One afternoon a couple of months back, I had just put the little ones down for a nap while the big kids ventured outside to play. I was washing dishes when Maddox bolted through the back door to announce that the pigs were missing! I was a little confused, but when I went outside to investigate, I found that sure enough our two hogs were not only not in their cage, but they weren't in the yard either, or anywhere to be found. A tree branch had fallen on the pig pen, allowing them to get away. Our property is surrounded by woods, so  I assumed they were out foraging not too far from home. I filled a bowl with pig feed and set out into the woods calling for the pigs, tapping on the food bowl. It then occurred to me that even if I found these pigs, how in the world was I going to get them back into their pen? Even if I had thought to bring a rope or leash with me, its not like they have collars, and I'm certainly not strong enough to pull these pigs, who are 250 lbs each, out of the woods all the way home. I kept calling. Suddenly I heard a gun fire! Our nearest neighbor is 10 plus acres away. Close enough to walk to, but not close enough to see. My heart sank knowing that a neighbor had found two strange pigs in his yard and probably shot them to keep them from eating his garden. My next thought was, well I guess we'll have to process our bacon today. I started to walk back home from the woods. The plan was to hop in the car and talk to the neighbors, but I could hear the big kids calling for me saying, "Mom! Mom! We found the pigs!!" As I reached my backyard I could see our giant pigs running down our dirt road, into our yard, and towards me in the backyard! The gun shot must have been from a neighbor not shooting my pigs, but giving them a scare so they would run back home. Because I still had the food bowl in my hand, they ran right to me, following the food bowl as I led them back into their pen. I was so relieved! A few weeks later we were able to send them to the butcher and we now have a freezer full of pork.

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