Follow the Leader

Pigs are pretty smart. Any time the tractor starts up the drive they run to the feed troughs. I saw pigs frolicking in the pig pen. I kid you not. I also saw them wallowing in mud holes, but while no one was looking a smart pig was going along the electric fence wire and removing the plastic pins that hold the wire up, thus shorting the current.

There are three pig pens. One of my first jobs was to go around pens two and three repairing the loose wire.

Let me pause here to tell you about the fence. There is regular farm fencing that I would say is about 4 feet high. This is to keep most animals in the area. Then about 6 inches from the ground is an electric line that is to discourage the pigs from tunneling under the fence. Then about six inches above the regular fence is a line of barbed wire to discourage calves or goats from jumping the fence. Who knew there was such a science to keeping animals where they belong.

Pens two and three had no residents. There was a lot of bending involved, but the task was completed. Then it rained. Ahhh, maybe I wouldn’t have to fix pen one.

The next day Chip suggested I ease on (a very local phrase) in to pen one and fix the connections. I asked if there was anything I should know and he said, “No, it’s the same wiring as the other pens.”

Was he kidding or was I too much of a city girl? There were piglets, but plenty of BIG pigs. (No sows. They have their own field.) I clarified that I was interested in knowing how to deal with pigs, a large number of pigs, with whom I would be sharing a fenced in pig pen.

He assured me that they would be very intimidated by me. Sure…..

I open the gate and ease on in. The pigs move away and I think, “Okay, they won’t bother me if I don’t bother them.”

Now, I am bending over to fix a connector (yes, my hind in is up in the air offering itself as a nice sized target) when I hear a deep voiced pig snort. I look between my arm and leg and about 5 feet away stands a pig staring at me. I stand up and it is a staring contest. I start to move and the pig runs away. Ah, relief.

As I proceed around the pen other pigs join my fan club. There started to be a procession following me. When I stopped they stopped. If I turned around they all looked in different directions as if they didn’t even notice me. It got to be quite fun having them follow me and then sneak closer and closer each time I bent down. Then when I stood and walked they all skittered away.

Several days later it was apparent that we had fixed the fence when we heard several LOUD squeals as some curious snouts got too close.

I snapped this picture while bent over. Good thing I wasn’t afraid……

Follow the leader.

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