Man! Pigs Are Trouble!!

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pork chop the pig (3) (Medium)

How come none of the books I read told me anything about what troublemakers pigs are?? Nobody warned that it would take Fort Knox to hold little miss piggy in!

“A single strand of electric fencing will do it.” My rear end!!

Remember the first night we got the pig, and how it escaped within minutes of us turning our backs? And how relieved we were when we caught her and thought we had actually secured her for good?

Yeah. Well, I was too embarrassed to tell you that the very next day she escaped again. She ran loose in our woods for nearly a week! Fortunately though, she stayed close by, and even made an occasional appearance. Every now and then we’d hear the faint sound of grunting outside of the house. One of us would yell, “There’s the pig!” and we’d all run to the window to see her running across the yard. I was pretty sure I saw a smug grin across her face as she freely frolicked in the open air, ears flapping in the wind, dirt up to her eyeballs… and holes all over my front lawn!

What could we do? We laughed. There’s something amusing about seeing a little pig running across your yard. But the dug up grass… not so funny. We had to catch her!

I started going outside with a bowl of table scraps every time I saw her out there. The very first time I tried it she was so hungry, she didn’t hesitate coming right up to me to eat. I couldn’t believe it! I just crouched beside the bowl as she devoured the food. She was so cute! I reached out to stroke her back.

Big mistake.

The second my hand barely even brushed against her hair she let out an ear piercing squeal and jerked her head back. Geez! I yanked back my hand and counted all of my fingers… just making sure! Give me a heart attack!!

Note to self: No more petting the pig.

pork chop the pig (1) (Medium)

After a few days of her running loose, I noticed something funny. The pig had decided she liked the goats, and she was following them around everywhere! This worked out to my advantage, ’cause every time I called the goats the pig came running along with them.

Since I could now easily get her to go wherever I needed her to go, the next task was to make her pen escape proof. We are temporarily penning her in a chain link dog lot, until we can fence off a larger portion of the land for her.

First attempt in dog lot… failure. She pushed right through the chain link and escaped. Twice, actually.

Jerry decided we’d put up an electric fence. He found some on clearance at Home Depot for really cheap ($10 a kit), so we got two. Once he had it up we corralled the goats and the pig into it.

The pig immediately ran right through the wire, got shocked, and kept on going. Three times she did this! The poor goats weren’t so lucky. As soon as their legs hit the fence they both collapsed on top of it, and helplessly laid there getting shocked (very low voltage though)! Poor things! Jerry had to run and unplug the fence really quickly. They got up and walked off as if nothing had happened, and the crazy pig joined them at grazing again.

That wasn’t gonna work. So, I decided I’d break out the drill and screw up some plywood around the bottom of the dog lot. Jada and I worked hard securing the wood to the fence. Then we lured the pig and the goats into the pen with yet another bowl of food.

pork chop the pig (2) (Medium)

And guess what. It’s worked!!! So far, anyways. She hasn’t escaped in like five days. I’m fully aware, however, that she may dig under the fencing at any moment.

You’re gonna think I’m crazy though. After all of the work it took to properly contain her… yesterday, I let her loose. Purposely. What can I say? I’m a softy. See, every morning Iย  go out and let the goats and the chickens loose to run free for the day. When I got to the pig’s pen with her bowl of food, I felt bad for her being so cooped up. So, I warned her that she’d better come back, and I opened the door.

And you know what, she came back. I penned her that evening, no problem.

pork chop the pig (Medium)

It makes me feel good to see the animals foraging and enjoying life as God intended. They weren’t meant to be caged in a small pen for their whole lives. They need freedom. Besides, I’d rather let her forage for most of her food. Saves us money. And we aren’t really in any hurry to fatten her up. So, I think free ranging her will be good for all of us.

As for the holes in my yard, we really need to fence it in so the animals can’t get on my lawn. But that’s a whole other project!!

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15 thoughts on “Man! Pigs Are Trouble!!”

  1. Thanks for this post. It gave me hope. All day yesterday I chased a little pig in and out of cornfields. Praying she’ll come back on her own.

  2. I absolutely love this post.We are about to move out to a two acre family property and I am making all sorts of plans as a soon to be new homesteader. I want pigs, with out a doubt, but I am terrified that I won’t be able to contain them. I wouldn’t care if they roamed the property like the inherited Goat that thinks he is a dog, but I am worried for their safety from my 4 dogs who have never lived in that kind of environment.
    I enjoy reading others stories of success and failure! Thanks for Sharing!

  3. My grandpa once gave my sister, Ruth, a spotted pig. Ruth named her Swine. We were able to keep her in for a long time, but once she got big, she got out nearly every day. Once we found her chasing a neighbor around and around her house, she was afraid to stop and open the door to get away!

  4. We used to say that when pigs get out, their head is always on the wrong end! It’s not like cattle or horses ~ those can be herded.

    Although you haven’t had success with electric fencing, pigs are very smart. Once they get zapped by it, they will not cross it. Which can make it quite a chore trying to set up a new area for them because you won’t be able to get them to cross where that electric fencing once was. We would use pig paneling along with a single wire of electric fencing at the level of the nose of the pig.

    When sows have young, keep an eye on them. The sow will wallow and lay on and kill her young. When we were in Holland, they had a fenced area for the sow but the piglets could get thru to suck as there was an area big enough only for the piglets to get thru.

    A sister in Christ

  5. I have to admit we had a similar situation with our chickens, as in, we finally built a fence good enough to keep them in and now I open it and let them out whenever I am home.

    Animals are meant to roam. My chickens have half of my large yard fenced in and I still feel like they need to be let out!

  6. Huh! I guess we pick well behaved pigs*wink* In the 6 yrs we’ve been getting pigs, we’ve never come close to having the troubles you’ve had, sorry for the snicker, Oppps! We always have two or three. They are a herd animal, and seem to like the company of other pigs or animals. Be careful they DO eat chickens! One of our layers got into their pen and next thing we see them running about their pen with something, shaking it. Yep one of my best layers

    Our pigs have always enjoyed being scratched, having their belly rubs, and especially the rubber curry comb rub down, Ahhhhh.

    Maybe it’s the breed you have, skittish. Our pigs are Berkshire cross.

    The two this year root around like mad, sometimes digging down over 4 ft deep. Now that the ground is frozen that has come to an end, so we are giving them old hay,in which they eat, use for added bedding and for entertainment. Actually pigs are quite amusing, well…. when they aren’t on the loose anyway*wink*

    Take care and if you want some awesome loose sausage recipes I’d be glad to share. We butcher, cut, wrap and make our own sausage. Soon as the smokehouse is built, we’ll be smoking our own hams and sidepork too, until then we have a friend who does it for us, what a blessing.
    Have a great weekend
    Blessings from,
    The Never Done Farm

  7. This is the best thing Ive read anywhere in awhile! the pig is cute! I used to know some people who had 2 pigs, and they let them stay in the house, honestly, they had pigs that lived in the house and went in and out like a dog! now thats extreme ! Ive always heard theyre a little hard to deal with, but I dont know. I still cant belive youre going to end up eatting her. ( are you sure, really? ) I said before, if I had one, it would end up a pet, and Id probably end up a vegetarian!

  8. I remember my Mom chasing the pigs down the main road near our house. She was so mad at my Dad. That was the last time we had pigs. After I was married, we were in church one night when a man came running in yelling. His pigs had gotten out . They were running through a farmers cornfield and destroying it. All the man went running out of church to help catch the pig. The bigger they get, the harder they are to catch. But they taste oh so good when they are in the oven.

  9. seriously, this is the cutest post EVER! My husband and I plan to raise animals, including pigs, someday and absolutely appreicate the candid story. They’re little MacGuyver’s, got it! I would be as “soft” as you, it’d be hard not to let them out with the goats knowing they’d likely come back. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Looks like you are going to have to put up a proper fence. I use the hot wire three strands it is heavy barbed wire it keeps the goats and the pigs in I (also keep them together). If she wonโ€™t stop running through the thick wire I guess you will just have to let her free range.
    FYI those fence chargers that cost only ten bucks? They are not going to do it. I take it that this is a pulse box? Gives off a jolt every second or two? You need to get one that has a constant flow. Ground it WELL two grounds are better than one. The better the ground the hotter the shock.
    I will post or send you a pic tomorrow when I get back to the house.

    • john wilson-

      Thank you so much for your advice!! I appreciate you taking the time to help us out ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll tell my husband what you’ve suggested. Actually, we bought a charger separate from the kit. It was like $30, and gives off a constant shock. I think we’ll try three strands like you do.

  11. Love the stories about the Pig.
    How fun!
    and frustrating and annoying! But, just think about all the memories you’re making, everything you’re learning, and how much the kids are probably enjoying this!

    Thanks for the wonderful updates!

    How is Addy doing?

  12. Kendra… I love your pig!!!!!! Every story keeps me smiling and smiling. I know she has been quite a hassle, but worth every minute of it. I can’t wait to get my own pig now just for the laughs =0)

    They say that pigs are as smart as a three year old? (I think I read that somewhere). So she probably understood you about coming back. I really like how you let your animals free range. Keep the stories coming. I’d like to read about your goats too.

    Happy Holidays


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