Summer is on its way (so they say) and Big Jude and FreeBee the huge mature rescue hogs have been moved through the fields and into the cool airy barn with access to the pig yard for the summer season. The black metal stock trailer they just left is in a smaller pen with full summer sun which is great in the winter but too hot in the summer for these big pet hogs.
They need to move to the barn for the deep shade and access to their summer field that hopefully will be under construction soon.
Hogs are prey animals and very suspicious by nature so moving them is always an exercise in patience. I talk to them the whole time so they can hear me, know where I am and say I over and over again “It’s OK – we’ve got all day”.
Hogs are not herd animals they will spread out to explore each space in his own time.
And their explorations are never in a straight line. Not hogs.
With animals this size, actually with any animals, I allow them to move in their own time. Both these animals will be over 400 pounds now so if they bolt there will be injuries. (Possibly mine). If I wait by the gate, that I want them to move through, calling out and singing to them, they will eventually follow my voice and come to me.
Big Jude was hand raised from a day old so he is a very friendly fellow and feels the need to greet every animal and person he passes. He was out talking to cows way before Free Bee had gone through the first gate.
Once he had explored the new pad Big Jude sauntered back to FreeBee and they both came through the gates together. But thats OK. Hogs get anxious very quickly so the slow pace was much healthier. We had all day after all.
Now they are ensconced in their summer quarters; a palatial open plan home with vaulted ceilings, huge doors opening into their own garden, excellent ventilation, farmhouse features, wood paneling and antique floors. And a comfy bed.
FreeBee got straight to work on constructing the wallow and Jude went to check out the bed.
Tima and the cows were already bored with the carry on and had gone off for a wee lie down.
Tima does not look comfortable but the black cow says quite clearly – “Hush, don’t come any closer, the little pig is sleeping.” All that cow needs is a rocking chair and some knitting.
My friend and I picked the asparagus in the late evening, then walked down the ditch bank with Boo. Later she helped me herd the ducks into their safe night house and I said to her “Watch their heads – the moment they turn their heads in the direction you want them to go, take a step forward and slowly raise your arms”. Ducks are usually easy to herd but the flock is so much smaller now and they were unsettled.
Today I will prepare the ground in the pen Jude and FreeBee just vacated. They have turned it over nicely and stomped in all the straw I spread in there. Today I will sow the pumpkins and watermelons and peas and beans and any other seeds lying about, spread a thin layer of old straw on top and shut it up again. Maybe we will get a crop of winter feed!
Have a lovely day.
Today’s photos of the creatures with your understanding remarks are soulful. And the one of your friend in the lowering sunlight by the dandelion heads lane, made me remember the Cadet. Does that dear girl, all grown up by now, ever come around to visit?
Oh yes. No, I lost track of her when she moved. I never see her now. She was such a troubled child. I hope she is doing ok.
Oh! I was hoping you were still in contact and she was able to move ‘beyond’ those troubled places in your life and soul.
No – she is lost to the winds.
Oh I had forgotten about the Cadet. So many people and animals are interwoven through our TKG journey. I am so thankful to be here with everyone!
Me too Deb! It is so wonderful to have been around a while and have such great memories of the Farmy and the comings and goings of all the animals and people 🙂
Pigs are so smart and surprisingly social. My daughter had a pet pig called Otto who she loved very much.
Otto is the perfect name for a pig!
It suited him perfectly!
Chuckling this morning over the new real estate for the hogs! It sounds as if they have just purchased their own condo and are ready to live it up in style 😉
I just went out to check them and they are both fast asleep side by side in the barn with the calves fast asleep in the next pen. Everyone has their doors wide open to this lovely cool morning.
Mine is open as well 🙂
Best friends forever with the cows on the first day!
Lovely soothing words with your gorgeous photos!
Just to second what everyone has said. Lovely pictures, words and thoughts. It really summed up what the farmy is all about to us faithful followers. Thank you so much for fitting us into your oh so busy schedule.
Sounds like big Jude is the friendly mayor of the farm
That’s exactly it! I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I now have full on nostalgia for summer and farm life.
I want to come back as one of your pigs. Good food, spacious accommodation summer and winter, and no stress…