Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Charis (and Kol) and the Two Little Piggies

Wednesday was a big day for us.  In fact, it was a PIG day for us!  We were going to pick up our two gilts (weaned female pigs).  Herb built a crate out of pallets in the back of the pickup truck.
Then we headed to Jim and Monique's house.  Normally it was my day to babysit the kids, but instead we were going to take Charis with us to give Monique a chance to get some work done.  While Charis got ready to go, Didi played with Kol, who happily kicked his little piggies in the air.
We buckled Charis into her car seat and headed for Soddy-Daisy.
When we got there, Jim (the nice pig farmer) showed us his barn.  It was full of fascinating things, but it was also a little dark and scary if you are only two, so Charis stayed in Didi's arms.
We passed goats and chickens and mother pigs (sows), and finally we came to the field of little pigs.  Fourteen 9-week old pigs--some gilts and some boars--came to eat their supper.

While they pigged out, Jim grabbed one by the hind leg.  I hate to say this, but it squealed like a stuck pig!  
I checked its ear tag to be sure it was one of the gilts for sale.  We wouldn't want to buy a pig in a poke.  This pig was okay to go, and Number 8 was ours!

Jim handed her over the fence to Herb, who put her in the pallet-crate and nailed it shut across the top.
Charis and I climbed up onto the tailgate so she could peek at Number 8, who had stopped squealing and settled down to explore her prison.
Unfortunately, while Number 8 was being snatched, the other pigs took off running across the pasture.  So Herb and Jim headed after them.

Over the next 45 minutes, the men herded those pig-headed pigs into a corner many times, while Charis and I watched the pig rodeo!   Those babies were slick as  greased pigs!
Finally the men herded the pigs near the food--and this time each one got hold of a pig.  What are the odds in a herd of 8 gilts and 6 boars that they both got boars?  They had to release them with only a sprained finger apiece to show for their efforts.
Luckily they were still right near the truck when I heard a noise and turned around to see Number 8 squeezing through the bottom of the crate--into the open bed of the pickup.  I yelled for help and set Charis down to grab for Number 8, who began to squeal, while Charis began to wail in fear.  It was pretty lively there until I handed Charis across the fence to Herb so I could jump down, push Number 8 back into the truck, and slam the tailgate!  Herb came around through the other field, put Number 8 back in prison, and nailed the bottom of the crate shut.  Meanwhile I held Charis and comforted her.
A little while later, Charis and I watched from the truck again as Jim and Herb nabbed another pig.  They weren't trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but to check her number.  Number 4--and she was ours, too!
As Jim held the loudly squealing Number 4 while Herb trekked back through the field and around to the truck, I looked at Jim--hot and red-faced--and said, "I don't like that one.  I want a different one!"  Before he could release her, I hastily added, "Just kidding!"  (It was too hot out there to spend another 45 minutes watching them chase pigs if Jim didn't realize I was joking and turned that pig loose!  I was already sweating like a pig, and I hadn't been running all over the pasture chasing pigs!)
Herb got in the truck and Jim handed Number 4 over the fence, all to the accompaniment of her loud squeals.

Herb wrestled her over the edge of the crate and lowered her in.
He made sure both 8 and 4 were okay and the crate was good and tight.  We sure didn't want to be driving down the highway and find out when pigs fly!
Charis was still a bit subdued.  I had no idea that bringing home the bacon was going to be quite so intense and full of squealing when I offered to bring her along!

With the pigs safely ensconced in the truck, we followed Jim to a different barn to get some food so our new girls could live high on the hog.  While the men weighed bags of feed, Charis and I met the donkeys.  The little "horsies" (as Charis called them) cheered her up a lot.
Getting blueberries in the car (after we all cleaned our hands with wipes!) finished cheering her up, and she sang "Jesus Loves Me" on the way home.
When we dropped Charis off at home, she wanted Mama and Baby Kol to come see the pigs.  So Monique and Kol got their first glimpse--and whiff!--of baby pigs.
When we got home, while I connected hoses to get water down to the pigs' new home, Kara captured their dis-embarkment on camera.  Herb opened the crate, grabbed each pig . . .

. . . swung her into the air, carried her to the end of the truck, and lowered her to the ground.
It was a happy reunion.
4 and 8 immediately began eating grass . . .
. . . and exploring their new home.  They found the grove of shade trees (which is briefly lit by the setting sun).
They found their wallow--a double kiddie pool for strength.
They found their water tub (in use until the rain barrel we ordered to convert to a pig waterer arrives).
And being pigs, one of them climbed into the water tub.  In fact, she laid right down in it and relaxed!
Having gotten a drink, 4 and 8 wandered off to explore their new pasture.
They met Zephyr and Hero, who were barking loudly at the new intruders.  4 and 8 were completely unfazed and actually wagged their tails at the dogs!

Zephyr's shepherd instinct finally kicked in, and she quit barking and began herding the pigs along the fence as they headed down the hill, grunting happily.  They were as happy as a pig in mud!


  1. BACON.....HERE I COME!!!!!!!!! Everything taste better with PIG FAT! YUM!

  2. 2 cochons !!:il ne manque plus rien dans cette ferme ! ah si : une dinde pour Thanksgiving ! Quel nom allez-vous donner à 4 et 8 ?

  3. Wow, with all that going on I am surprised you got all those pictures! What an adventure!
    Can't wait to see them. . . . and you! :)

  4. Bacon & eggs for breakfast, Jenny--but only the eggs are ours.

    Kathleen, nous allons les appeler 4 et 8 (Four and Eight) pour ne pas nous attacher! J'ai pensé à une dinde, mais je n'ai rien fais pour l'instant car il faut en acheter plusieurs--trop pour nous. Peut-être un canard pour Noël!

    Barbara, as you see, I missed the most exciting pictures of all--the pig escaping! So my "gentle readers" will just have to imagine it! :) Can't wait to see you guys! We'll let you help feed pigs, if you want to.

  5. Can't wait to hear about the chicken Massacre today!

  6. It didn't happen. We went out to a movie Friday night, so didn't get the chickens separated and everything set up. We're going to try to do 10 a day for 3 days beginning Monday. It's really time, but it's HOT by 11 am. Instead of renting a plucker, we'll just do it by hand. Hopefully with only 10 each time it won't be too bad.

  7. Great shots, we still have a ways to go before we get ours. Proritys such as house to build.
    Mark & Bev

  8. Thanks, Mark & Bev, although with cute baby pigs and cute granddaughter, all I had to do was point and shoot! :) We enjoyed those pigs so much that we are about to pick up two more in a couple days. We never thought we'd eat all that pork, but we were pigs ourselves! :D


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