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!!
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.
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.
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.
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 I 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.
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!!