Cappers Farmer Blogs > Root Farm Arlee

Life on the Root Farm Arlee Llama Alert!

Valerie RootI got home today from town and found a mess. The pigs had broken out of their pen and proceeded to tear up my pasture. The dog-killing, pig-hating, sheep-protecting llama (Suzie) was on alert and hidden behind the dirt pile, sending out her warble of appeal. The sheep were huddled up into groups of four or six. I am not sure if they were shaking, but I do know they were not eating.

Of course I got my bucket of pig grower to entice the pigs back into their pen. At the rattle of the gate opening, they all came a running. I then had to race clean across the pasture to the pen, find out where they got out, and try to get the bucket of feed into the pen before they got me. I didn't make it!  

In all my anxiousness, I forgot the knife and twine to repair the fence, so I ended up going back to the shop and retrieving the crucial items. I got another bucket of grower and raced again to the pen. While I am practicing my kickboxing moves on the pigs, I stand on one foot kicking my other leg all over the air, slicing through a piece of twine. I then hop to the other foot and practice more moves while slicing through more twine.

I finally have everything cut and the fence held open. Not a single pig comes into the pen. I shake the bucket, nothing. I hurry over, pour grower out into the pan, and pigs start running every fence line. I hurry back over to the opening and hold open the fence. I am run over in the initial rush, then dodge a couple more.

In counting I find I am one short. Where is that rascal? I tied up the fence and started looking for number 9. I found her buried clean up to her stomach in fresh dirt. I found her by her two white ears wiggling in the green grass. What ever roots (no pun intended) she found were wonderful. She had torn up a 15 x 15 square spot of my pasture. I ran over to her and stuck the bucket under her nose. She came and the race was on. I cannot run facing backwards or sideways, so every time she squealed or snorted, I could only run faster and hope she wasn't about to bite me or run me over. You can imagine how fast I really ran as I still have a sprained ankle (from my run in with the skunk, another fun story) and torn meniscus in my other knee. I once again cut twine to let her in the pen. She was so busy being jealous of the other pigs eating that she ran every fence. I ran after her and stuck the bucket under her nose. That got her attention. We once again ran the fence line back to the opening that I had and she went right in. I tied the panels shut again. Job accomplished! 

Finally I can go collect eggs. 

That little white pig's name is now #9.

valerie
10/7/2013 3:52:29 PM

Dear NebraskaDave. I am glad you enjoyed it. I did too even tho the laughter was laced with pain for a couple of weeks. The pigs are the biggest test for our farm.


valerie
10/7/2013 3:50:14 PM

Dear ArkieGirl, I hear ya on the baling wire. We used it a lot as a kid. These pens are collapsible and so need to be able to break them down. Wire is way to difficult to work with on a weekly bases.


arkiegirl72638
10/6/2013 6:59:23 PM

Welcome...that's why there's the saying your fences should be "horse high, bull strong and pig tight". That twine won't be strong enough to hold them...better get some baling wire...fast or be ready to sprint again! Good luck!


nebraskadave
10/4/2013 9:01:45 PM

Valerie, welcome to Capper's Farmer blogging community. You had me belly laughing at your antics with pigs. I so identify with your pig experiences. If there ever was an animal that would test a fence to the max, it would be the pig. In my humble opinion, the pig is the best escape artist on the homestead. Have a great pig wrangling day.