On Thursday, May 11, 2017 we picked up our pigs – it just became real. We’re pig farmers!
This photo is from a few weeks ago. We’ve been planning for the arrival of pigs for over a year now – with the fence built, the shelter set up, the food and water dishes ready to go, it was just a waiting game for the pigs to be ready. We added a couple flags to the pig pen for decoration, including a bacon flag that I hand-stitched as a Christmas gift for my husband!
And they finally arrived! We picked them up on Thursday night. They were 8 weeks old as of Monday, May 8. One is a male and one is a female.
They were very skittish when we brought them home. I think the trip back to our house riled them up a little bit. The male piglet is the smaller one – he is a little more aggressive than his sister, and also the more skittish one. He kept hiding behind his big sister whenever I came around.
My daughter is thrilled that the pigs are finally here. She’s been enjoying helping out with everything including filling up the water tank, filling up the food bowls, spreading out the hay for bedding and just spending time with the little guys.
The pigs didn’t really eat at all Thursday night and all morning on Friday. On Friday morning the pigs were still running away from me – I guess I don’t blame them because they are young and in a new place. So Friday afternoon, I decided to make them trust me. I brought out some spinach and I slowly got closer to them. They kept backing away, so I tossed a piece at one of the pigs. She sniffed it and took a nibble. Then she ate some more. All of a sudden they both realized that I brought and offered them food. Eventually they took the spinach right out of my hand. Then I took the last few pieces of spinach and mixed it in the food bowl with the hog feed, which they started to eat.
By Friday evening, the pigs were more comfortable around me and began to get closer to me. By Saturday morning, they were following me around the pen as I picked up their poop.
One of my methods to make the pigs feel more comfortable with us humans in the pen, was to just hang out in the pen. C and I found a clean (poop/mud-free) patch of grass in the pen and just sat around and watched them. I think that method is starting to work because they are now only skittish when we get really close to them or move really fast. They seem mostly comfortable with us just being in the pen doing our own thing.
I know they say not to name them, but we named them. They were kind of randomly chosen names – the female is Rusty and the male is Spider. Spider is actually SpiderPig, but I just say Spider. I’m not sure how Rusty came about, but her hide is redder than her brother’s so it works.
We are excited for this summer of gardening and raising pigs!