Two weeks ago, Bob and I went to the flea market to buy chickens. They didn't have any hens at the market that day, but Bob knew he was in trouble as soon as he spotted the cage. "PIGGIES," I squealed (remarkably like a pig myself). Bob didn't waste his time on futile argument. He just sighed and said, "I guess we're going home with a pig."
I bought a cute little black piggy no bigger than a puppy and named him Pork Chop. For the first week he lived in my bathroom, and it wasn't so bad after he learned to use the litter box. Pork Chop was very affectionate and climbed into my lap for attention. This being a farm, it didn't seem very cost conscious to raise a non-producing pet pig who was eventually going to grow to a few hundred pounds and eat like a, you know, pig. So the following weekend we went back to the flea market in search of a girl pig.
Pork Chop is only about a month old and the only girl pig we could find is three months old. He's only about a fourth of the size of Priscilla, but he was so happy to have a girlfriend that he immediately tried to climb up on her and prove that he's a boy pig. This pissed Priscilla off.
She chased that poor boy around and around, squealing and biting and saying dirty words in pig talk. He hid in the corner for a full hour before he dared approach again. Since then he's been a perfect gentleman and follows her everywhere.
We spent last Sunday building an emergency hog pen in the rain. Just before dark the pen was finished and we put the critters in. It was a work of art: Weld wire fencing, a swimming pool for wallowing, chicken wire around the bottom so little Pork Chop couldn't escape through the 6" square fence holes. Yup, we were pleased as punch about our pen building effort.
We went to work Monday and came home after a hard day expecting to feed the dogs, check on the goats, play a little with the piggies and then fall into bed. Funny thing about being new pig owners….you start to notice them everywhere. Half a mile from home we passed some pigs.
They were trotting down the side of the road, obviously escaped from somewhere. There was a big pink pig and a teeny tiny black pig following at her heels. "How cute," I thought. "Those two look just….like……OUR PIGS!" We slammed on the brakes, jumped out of the truck and started the chase.
A passing motorist saw us chasing pigs and stopped his vehicle to join the chase. Up and down the road, across the yards, around sheds, over/under bushes and through fences. Luckily Pork Chop stopped to pee and one of our pig catchers snatched him up before he could get away. Priscilla scooted under some barbed wire and headed out into a field that dipped into a valley and went on for as far as the eye could see.
I looked at the squirmy pig I was holding, inspected my muddy high heels, and decided to let Bob and his volunteer pig catcher go after Priscilla while I took Pork Chop home and changed clothing.
After depositing Pork Chop in a sturdy cage, I drove back down the road to rejoin the hunt. Much to my surprise, there was a pink pig trotting down the middle of the road heading for home and her chasers were nowhere in sight. I slammed the truck into park and was on the run again. I chased her around and around the yard. Every time I thought I had her cornered, she managed to slip out of my grasp. I wouldn't be any good in a greased pig contest. I can't even catch an ungreased pig. Priscilla disappeared under a shed and refused to come out again. So on the night we had planned to go to bed early, we spent the evening instead luring a pig into a cage using a trail of strategically placed kernels of canned corn. We didn't get to sleep until nearly midnight.
Priscilla and Pork Chop spent the week locked in a large dog crate. Today we finally had time to work again on the hog pen. It's now surrounded by heavy gauge hog fencing with an electric wire running around the bottom. Pigs hate electricity. Poor Priscilla has rubbed against that wire a half dozen times today and each time she squeals (like a stuck pig) and runs back for her shelter. I don't think she'll try digging out again any time soon, but stay tuned-----stuff happens around here.
May 3, 2008