I Think We Finally Did It…

pig pen

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!

Kendra
About Kendra 1107 Articles
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.

9 Comments

  1. One of the things I most remember about dealing with animals growing up is HOW MUCH TROUBLE the darn PIGS are. My husband loves pork but I told him I would NEVER deal with a pig… This confirms my suspicions that they never get easier. Hope you are having better results and glad you have perseverance!

  2. This will make the sausage taste that much better! If you are going to use a butcher, they usually require an appointment ahead of time. Sometimes 2 months when they are busy. Think about it…..Also we live close to Amish people and they will kill and block out the meat for you. This is much cheaper than having all the meat processed. I grind and make sausage. I would suggest at least having someone help who has done it before. It is a BIG task!
    This year we are growing pumpkins in our corn patch for the next pig litter. I am going to freeze pumpkins and feed it to them throughout the winter. Cheap feed and healthy for the pigs. Also save all those potatoes that are too small to eat. Last year I had 11 bushels to eat and 4 bushels of culls. (not a good year) I cooked them (pigs won’t eat raw potatoes) and fed them to the pigs througout the year. (no green skins)

  3. LOL, ooooomigoodness. This made me laugh RIGHT out loud!!! Glad you finally got her contained… and speaking as a first-born, she’ll turn out ok. Look at me! The epitome of sanity, grace, and… heh. Well. On second thought………? 😉

  4. Wow! I can’t believe it, usually the goats are the ones who do this. I know many a goat who is an expert escape artist, but must be the goats were teaching the pig some bad habits 🙂

    We are seriously thinking of getting 2 piglets this spring. Our neighbor wants to go in with us on it. He has raised pigs before and said it’s better to have 2 since they will compete for food and get big faster. We got a book on raising pigs. Mr. D has read it, but I have not yet. We certainly have plenty of mud for them to root around in, though I guess they are expert at making their own. We get lots of veggies that the chickens are not interested in eating, like potatoes and carrots, so the pigs should be happy with that stuff.

    Guess I had better get ready for a fight to keep them in their pen. Never heard of using electric fence for them, but it makes perfect sense.

    With a pig like that, you are probably going to be glad when slaughter day arrives.

    Do you know how to smoke pork? I am interested in doing that to some of ours when we get to that point. If you find any info., can you forward it to me?

    Hope you have a blessed weekend. I haven’t done the “Fess-up Friday” for a couple of weeks, not because I haven’t had anything to “Fess-up” about, but because of time. Now that the weather is turning warmer, I just have more things that can be done outside. Of course that means my house is getting shabbier… and I don’t me “Shabby Chic” either 🙂

    Mrs. D

  5. Nice story to showcase the difficulty in living with pigs. We always put rings in their noses when small. not unless piercing a nose or our ears. They lived happily and they had a pen with see through pallets. The still wallowed and lived very happily and so did we when we did not ever have to chase them. Did you name Miss Piggy? I may have missed that. My favorite piggy boys which we kept for butchering were Bacon, Ham and Sausage. We had a grand time. Good luck with her.

  6. Stubborn little bugger! LOL! Glad to hear you finally found something that works. Just watch the bottom still..she may still try to root underneath the boards. Pigs are natural diggers, as you already know.

    Good luck!

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