Good morning. I have just come back inside from shifting Sheila by torchlight back to her new field, why you ask, because yesterday my whole plan fell into piggie chaos.
It all started with Sheila coming into heat, which she does on occassion and she was chasing her calves round and round the field, so I locked the kunekune outside (it was a nice day) and put Sheila into the sunroom, which she immediately wrecked then lay down to sleep it off.
I had been in the middle of shifting the middle sized pigs into their new outdoor quarters when I went to save the calves -the tin hut was in place and I had decided to shift them permanently into the new vegetable garden area they are in and out of here all the time so I felt confident.
Hearing the noise of Sheila smashing stuff as she chased her calves around. I quickly shut their gate and went to her aid. Five minutes later I looked up and there were two middle sized pigs in the wrong place, two were dashing between the trucks in the drive, two dogs in hot pursuit.
I shut Sheila’s door, called them in (which took a while) and then saw the other middle sized pigs had got out the other side and were communing through the back fence with the little pigs and to my horror the little pigs were going under their fence like a running stream. The two pigs I had brought back joined them and off they ran into the big fields. Merciful heaven.
Before I knew it I had middle sized pigs and little pigs all mixed up in a marauding pack bleeding through more of the cows fences and taking over the concrete pad, splitting into packs, running in all directions and having the time of their lives dashing in and out from between the hooves of the aghast cows.
Herding pigs is like herding cats. It does not work. And of course it was morning and everyone was well fed. First I shifted the cows then tried to work out what to do with eleven excited pigs in full gallop.
No-one was taking any notice of me.
It took a long long time and a lot of opportunist drafting to get the little pigs sorted out from the middle sized pigs and back into the barn. To get them through the barn I had to move Sheila back out of the front pen and into the abandoned vegetable garden field out of the way.
Once through, the little ones took over the whole barn as I shut the big door to their now compromised back yard.
The middle size pigs had been left to roam the farm while I gathered the little ones and by early afternoon I had got all four middle sized pigs into the back field where the root cellar is but they would not go through the last gate so we stopped there. The fence was not set up yet so it was not turned on but they did not know that yet and would not go through the gate behind it. By evening I just had to leave them to it and hope they would remember where their bed was, find the gate open and settle down in there.
I was just glad to have them all in one place with a big gate shut.
It did not take her long to find the food.
Late last night I went out to check that everyone was still where they should be and discovered that Sheila (who had been in the vegetable garden field) had found the hole that the middle sized ones had made (and that I had completely forgotton about). She had escaped (very slowly I am sure) and had gone back up to the barn, made herself a nice big bed by the little pigs and was fast asleep in the corner of the barn.
So I just shut the big doors and left her there for the night. And this is why an hour ago I was out in the early dawn with my jacket over my nightie and bringing her down the drive and back into the field, with the hole blocked up once again. She was reluctant to move, having planned a big breakfast for herself from the feed bins, I imagine. But that was not going to happen.
So now I will get my coat back on and get going and check to see how the others are. Alex is being very vocal – I am not even sure where they all ended up.
Now, I need to buy another solar panel for the Rat House Paddock. They take three days to charge up so who knows what will happen in the meantime. But I am not going to try and shift the middle sized pigs back, it took them the entire day to get where they are now!
I hope you have lovely day.