Like most days, with the snow blowing around and around, and the temps falling, I bundle up in my WAY TO HUGE army print winter parka, barn boots, two pairs of pants, and a heavy pair of gloves for morning chores. I carry with me two full, and very oragne 5 gallon buckets of water from the house (we have no outside water…YET) to fill the pigs watering bin. I make it to the door, only being run into once by the dogs today causing water to slosh and spill into one of my boots. (typical) I get to the door, put the buckets down, unlock, open, and step sideways VERY CAREFULLY one bucket at at time to avoid slipping on the ice pack that has formed into a someone terrifying SLIDE. Once I have successfully entered the barn, I can here the peeping of 16 very feisty baby chicks that are growing into our laying hens, and the gentle snoring of pigs.. LOTS of PIGS!! Well, lots by our standards! 15 to be precise! Some are little babies fast approaching 8 weeks old, and will be shuffled off to their waiting farms. One is little Silver Pig, NOT SO LITTLE ANYMORE!! She must be pushing 75 pounds!! The 4 juveniles that will be butchered soon, Neko and Petunia.. Once they hear me put the water buckets down, the wake with BARKS…
Yes, pigs bark, and start to climb out of their nest. Then the SQUEALING BEGINS.. A chorus of noises from the big to the small all in anticipation of breakfast!! I scoop some whole kernel corn and bring it out to their outside pen, and toss it in, so I don’t get TRAMPLED when I climb in to feed them! Some fall for the trick, and start nosing and eating the corn. But Neko knows better!! 😉 She waits so she can get first pick of what trays she will hoard for her breakfast ritual. Which is, Get into a fight with Petunia over what tray has better food, finally succumb that Petunia is bigger, and accept that the second best tray is A-okay. She then tosses piglets out of her way and out of her food tray.. Its quite comical! They play rotating trays, each pig eating out of each tray at least a few times, until they settle in for the remainder of breakfast. The babies darting here and there, trying to stay out of the way of the big pigs, and sneaking bites as often as they can. (luckily they are still nursing, so no worries about them getting enough to eat!)
I then clean and fill their waterer, give them a bit of fresh hay to much on during the rest of the morning, and straw for bedding. It is a life of luxury and happiness!!
Some day I will try to video this dance, I do this twice a day, and today I totally got STEPPED on by Petunia.. Nothing feels better than a 700lb pig planting her full weight on the bony top of your foot, with only your rubber boot in-between her hoof and your skin.
Wait.. I take that back.. I was once stepped on by a full grown cow, and broke my toe.. That was worse!! 🙂
The glamorous life of farming!!! I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!!!
Petunia.. and Andy the rooster.