I think we have successfully penned the pig! After months of trying this and that, and nothing working, today I think we’ve finally done it.
Up until now, we’ve had the pig in a chainlink lot with the goats. She stayed in there when she wanted to, but only when she wanted to. The moment she got the urge to escape, she’d simply push underneath the fencing, or yank on the gate until it swung open, and would then be free to destroy the yard.
Last week, during one particularly nice day, I spent most of my time outside working on wiring an electric fence around the inside perimeter of the pig’s pen. I worked hard. I hammered stakes into the ground, pulled wire, and attached it to all of the stakes. By the end of the day, it was nicely strung all the way around the inside of the chainlink lot. I was proud of myself.
When my husband came home, I asked him if he’d hook up the electricity for the fence. When he was finished, we anxiously introduced Mrs. Pork Chop to her newly… um, “upgraded”… home.
Okay, so ideally she would have walked up to the fence, touched it with her snout, felt the jolt, and backed away- never to test it again.
But this is me we are talking about, and nothing ever goes the “text book” way in my life.
Here’s how it played out: Once in her pen, the first thing she did was test out the new wire. But she didn’t just touch it. Nooooo. She decided that she would push behind it! Which means she was immediately stuck between the hot wire and the chainlink fence, which was about a 12″ gap! And of course she didn’t just stay there getting shocked. She took off full speed running the entire perimeter of the fencing, squealing to high heaven and getting zapped the whole time, yanking up every stake I had in the ground as she went!
Rounding the third corner, she leaped into the air and slammed right into the chainlink, tearing apart two fencing panels and making her escape!
My husband and I looked at each other dumbfounded, our jaws dropped open. Good grief! That was totally not what was supposed to happen!
We decided to give it one more try. Though she had broken the electric fence wire in several places, we twisted it back together and hammered the stakes back in. Determined to make it work (’cause that’s what the books say to use!) we tried it again.
You’d think the pig would have learned her lesson. But no. She did the exact same thing again. Except this time she pushed the chainlink fence up with her snout and escaped beneath it.
What the heck?! We looked at each other again. Defeated.
It was on to plan B. Board up around the inside of the chainlink.
So today, we spent the entire day working on the pig’s pen. We pulled scrap wood from the piles around the yard and boarded up the fence. Using pallets we created a fence separating the pig from the goats. This will make things much easier for me as I’ll be able to let the goat’s free to roam and graze without having to worry about the pig pushing her way out too.
Well, so far so good! She’s still in there. I think Miss Piggy likes her new digs! Hopefully she’ll stay in.
I feel so bad for her. She’s like the firstborn child. You know, the one you make all of the mistakes with! I’m surprised she hasn’t run away from home yet!
I don’t plan on letting her out to free range anymore. She’s getting too big. And the kids can’t play freely in the yard without having to worry about her coming around them. But her pen is nice; it’s a good sized lot, about 24′ x 20′. And when she digs it up we’ll move her to the front of the lot where the goats are so that she can root up fresh ground. She’ll be happy.
And I’ll be happy not having to smell pig poop right by my back door anymore! So glad to have this project done!
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.