Farm Stuff

Today I am going to extend the tween piggies paddock by taking down their electric fence and hoping the regular fences will hold out. They have finished all the green feed in center of the field and dug up most of the thistle roots.


Time to finish the outer edges.

Tane and I will go to visit the vet again this week. His fourth leg does not work much at all anymore – it is his hip – it has never been good.  Usually he just limps sometimes but lately it has got a lot worse. It comes and goes  but now his fourth leg pretty much does not reach the ground he kind of swings it out as he walks.   I have agonised over his prognosis, this is a crippled pig.

We have tried many different interventions but the next step gently suggested by the vets is to probably put him down. If an animal might be in pain we are bound to put them out of their misery.

But he eats well and chases me (in a crippled fashion) around the field looking for more. He talks and fights to steal Tima’s food. His tail wags when he sees me coming. It is just this one leg that is not working, hurting his back too probably. He is slow to get going in the morning but never fails to get up and get going. He has adapted and does this curious thing – he actually holds his back legs up and balances on his front legs when he turns a corner, swinging his whole rear end around then setting off on his new course.

I know I should let him go. But I look about me and see many people with aches and pains and legs that don’t work and having to use walking sticks or walkers and groaning every time they get up and down  – we don’t put them down. We let them limp around and keep on going. We don’t tell their minders that the next step is for the person  in pain to be euthanised so they will feel no more pain.  I know this is a weak argument and I know pigs are not people but I just don’t feel that Tane is ready to end it all – he is not angry, he does not fight or bite or growl, he sleeps against the fence in the sun with Sheila sleeping on the other side – almost touching. No fighting.He still tries to escape when the gate is being opened and runs with his crazy crooked limping gait across the fields towards me when he sees me coming with a bucket. His gaze is straightforward and clear. He is always starving.

Tane and I are going to look at the vet and ask him if there are other options. I want a course of pain relief and anti inflammatorys again though we have done these before, this problem of Tanes is not new but surely there must be something else we can do for the old fella. Who is not old.

I have to be careful that I am not putting the little boar through hell because I cannot bear for him to die. I know this too.  We have all had to put animals down but it has always seemed right – whereas Tane is very much alive. But with a dicky hip.  I will not accept it – though I may have to one day.

He will have the warmest bed with a beautiful big blanket this winter.

Poppy’s piglets – ever the opportunists.
sow and piglets

Poppy does this very cute thing.

sow and piglets

When her naughty babies are finally asleep in their own room she stands outside their little door and watches them. Just standing there staring in, quietly watching them for ages.  Just like any Mum. Thinking aren’t they beautiful when they are Asleep.
sow and piglets

Her naughty babies. We managed a whole day yesterday without an escape.

sow and piglets

Tia and BobbyT3 are already in the farm routine. At night they sleep inside the barn (being babies after all) and in the morning after their breakfast and after the big cows have gone out into their own fields, their big door is opened and they are set free to wander out and graze in Pat’s Paddock.

In the late afternoon before the milking they bring themselves back up to the barn, their gate is shut, they have their dinner, talk to the big cows over the gate, listen to the milking, then snuggle down into their straw beds for the night. Tia is always gently friendly allowing a head scratch her big black eyes shiny and guileless.

I hope you have a lovely day.



33 Comments on “Farm Stuff

  1. I think those same thoughts every day about my dear old dog. He has a tender hip & back knees, but still seems to enjoy his life most of the time. I am not ready to part from him yet. There always seems to come a day when we know the time has come. I am trusting there will be a sign, but I haven’t seen it yet. I am with you that Tane might still have some good times left. I know you’ll do the best thing for him~ when you must.

  2. Sigh .. these animals really can pull at our heart strings, if only Tane could speak human. Laura

  3. Go with your gut. You know your animals better than anybody. You will know when it is his time, and it doesn’t seem like this is it for him. He is given excellent care and a happy life. What more can a pig ask for? It sounds like he is pretty happy to me!

  4. I can commiserate with Tane on the hip pain. I am not that old, and I have been hobbling around in pain for years! Hope nobody opts to put me down too soon :*) My chiropractor works on dogs and has great success, but I doubt it’s very affordable and getting a pig to town for that could be a problem even if it were an option. I hope you find a helpful answer, but I think that you will know when it’s the right time. He is a sweetie! Your new girl calf is plenty adorable as well.

  5. He will let you know when he’s ready. I have a couple very old sheep hanging around. They let you know and you just trust them. As long as they can still get up on their own and enjoy their days, I believe there’s no harm in letting them do so. He’s important to his friends.

  6. It doesn’t sound to me like Tane is on his last legs yet. There’s no way of telling if he’s in pain, but running across the field suggests he’s still got a lot of spirit and joie de vivre 🙂

  7. You will know when the time is right and he will give you signs. If he seems happy, let him continue with his life but you know that in your heart. ❤️🐷

  8. It is heart wrenching to see anything suffering even a little. The right decision will come. Either way, He knows he’s loved in a way most animals never are. I hope you have a wonderfilled day as well.

  9. I’m glad somebody is not going to put me down over my bum ankle which at times is so painful, I could amputate it myself.
    I truly believe you will know when it’s time.

    I wish I could remember what we put our old reining horse on……….. It was a very small pill. They give it to dogs for joint pain. It did wonders for him. He had a hard life before we got him.

    We also put him on B-L pellets which is a buteless pain med for horses……….

  10. I have taken my animals to a chiropractor when they have had problems. Is there one about who could see what he/she could do? Perhaps when he was having his mating with his ‘wife’ he threw his sacrum out. When my hip is bad it’s always the sacrum first. I also have seen good results by giving animals Glucosamine because they need the sulphur to heal soft tissue. I like that little piggy and hope he can be healed.

  11. I wish you the best in dealing with dear Tane. Sounds like he needs a lift, poor dear. And, yet, he looks happy and hungry…you will know best. The naughty babies are darling as ever. And I love the story of how Poppy watches them. Take tugs my heart in one direction, and that tugs it in the other. x

  12. Thank you for giving Tane more time. Of course he should never suffer, and you are a farmer who has to think about your farms best choices, but as you say it seems that you will know when it is time and this is not it.

  13. So sad about Tane’s leg. Getting old is not for sissies! Even for pigs, apparently. Our little pup has epilepsy and takes 13 pills a day to control it. Many times, when he seems dopey from drugs, I wonder if we’re doing the right thing or if it might be kinder to end it. But then he does some cute pupish thing, full of life and happiness, and I’m glad haven’t chosen to put him down. Animals are tricky. They steal our hearts.

    I will be praying that Tane has a successful visit with his doctor.

  14. Thank you for believing that a life can have good quality even though there’s pain in it. If I were an animal, they’d have put me down about 6 months ago. Now, of course, I’m a whole lot better, but I still have pain every day, and I don’t believe I’m quite ready for the Long Sleep… It sounds as if Tane has come to an accommodation with his disability, and manages cheerfully and with dignity to enjoy the pleasures that you and life offer him.

  15. My heart breaks for you my sweet friend. I so feel your ordeal with Tane. It is something that you will discuss with the vet for the best course. ❤ Sending you many hogs and snout kisses during this time my sweet. XOXO – Bacon

  16. Hoping good ideas for Tane, I have a older dog who is very slow to get up and limps a little, wish there was something I could do for her.

  17. Try not to fret too much about poor Tane. You know your animals and can sense how they are feeling maybe sometimes even better than they do. Tane will tell you when he’s tired and hurting and if he gets to the point where he’s had enough. You are such a good farmer to your animals – Tane is in good hands! I hope for the best!

  18. I hope there is something you can do for Tane! Like you I would not be ready. Tane is not ready either. Not yet. Maybe it is just the weather causing the hip to act worse.


  19. I agree with you regarding Tane, you will know when the time comes. So sweet Poppy watching her babies from the doorway.
    Getting cold here now. I hope you have a fab day.

  20. I know you’ll do what’s necessary when the time comes, but just remembered something an old vet told me years and years ago. I had an old dog who had a bad limp and when I wondered if it was time to say goodbye, the vet pretty much said as you did about older people with aches and pains and we don’t put them down. But the really telling part of what he said was there is a great difference between hurting and suffering. And as long as my dog was eating he was not suffering. He told me the moment the pup stopped eating I must be ready, without delay, to bring him into the vet’s, but not beforetime. As MadDog has suggested, Tane still seems to experience a joie de vivre and that has to count for something. Glucosamine, as someone else suggested, is a big help with arthritis as is Turmeric with black pepper (can be purchased as a pill from Amazon).
    Dear Poppy sounds like a beautiful Mum, and that calf is a real beauty. But the bestest photo of the day is the milk tins on the verandah; that’s a winner for sure! Hope you have a lovely day too. ~ Mame 🙂

  21. I will be anxious to hear what the vet has to say about Tane. Our gut feelings tell us much, but it helps to have professional input as well. I will be sending positive thoughts on the winds… which are still out of the south most days. 🙂

  22. We killed two pigs today for sale and our freezer, I asked the butcher if he noticed any problems with one of the pigs as he was always lame on one leg or the other and his overall size was about 20-30Kg less than his brother.
    It was only when it came to jointing up that he noticed that the pig had gout, too much good food he said. Now this is the word or a butcher, not a vet, but it has to be worth thinking about as a possible cause, after all it can do no harm to change Tanes diet for a week or two?
    I have to agree with another comment made as well, if Tane is eating then he’s happy to live.

  23. I tend to agree with you regarding Tane, he should live if he still wills it and it seems like he does. I hope the vet offers some natural remedy that is not too costly to ease his discomfort. When I see animals online who have had limbs amputated, yet with a small mechanical device, they motor on, grateful for life! I just love that last photo, beautiful.

  24. I feel for Tane. I live with constant chronic pain and have for decades. I know from my dogs, that when they have had enough, they’ll tell you in ways you can’t miss that the time has come to leave this ball of rock. Every one of them had a good life, some reached a point they had to have their hindquarters lifted up as doing it alone was hard. They will refuse food, there’s a look that no amount of wishing will deny the message they’re giving. Tane is certainly not at that point if he’s figuring out ways to get around, enjoys his food and is interested in what’s around him. It almost sounds like his hip is out of joint.

  25. Poor Tane. I hope the vet has some thing positive to say about his condition. I am dealing with the same sort of issue with Molly the cat. She has a nasty fungal infection with nodes in her pancreas and liver. The medicine is twice a day and she has stopped eating and is throwing up a lot. I managed to get some food down her today, but she is so tiny. It is hard. So, seeing the piglets brought a smile to my face and knowing that Poppy is such a doting mother is so good to hear. Hope you are having a good day.

  26. Yes, I’m thinking like Eva Taylor –what about a little chariot like Lurch had? Would that be totally impractical do you think? We had both our dogs at one point on Rimadal. (can’t spell it any more) It helped some. And maybe he has gout (as someone else said above.) This is a heart-breaking situation–especially because he has a wife and he’s not even middle-aged, for heaven’s sake!

  27. You have expressed wonderfully Tane’s quality of life. It seems to me he is communucating as much as he is able that he is good enough. Animals in the wild manage even when they’re not 100%. And take themselves off to die when it’s their time. Tane is fortunate that he has you to help when that time comes.
    Lovely visual of a maternal Poppy 🐽

  28. With my love of animals I watch a lot of ‘vet’ shows both from here and elsewhere: have seen this quite a few times in dogs: oft the removal of the ‘gammy leg’ provides pain relief and returns them to what looks like ‘normal’ life. – and dogs at least do learn to walk on three legs quite ‘normally’ ! Of course it means money . . . and Tane becoming another ‘pet’ of sorts on the farmy . . . .

    • Oh dear what a horrible thought – a three legged pig. Tane and Tima have always been pets – I do not eat kunekune. Though it would have been nice to have babies.

  29. Beautiful reflection on Tane. I was just reading in another place about how in modern culture we are confused by pain. We think it has to be eliminated. We have forgotten that compassion means “acquiescing” or “submitting” along with the person struggling instead of feeling sad if we cannot fix things. We don’t know how (or why) to endure. And as the old vet told Mame, “there is a great difference between hurting and suffering.” Besides, I can tell by the way Tane throws his behind into a turn that he’s a long way from giving up. What a guy!

  30. You will know Celi .. No doubt about it. He will let you know, for sure. You are so attuned to your animals .. Our bodies make allowances 😃 beautiful post my friend. Love love your images ..

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