Archive for the ‘Caleb’s Posts’ Category

The New Pig System

July 31, 2008

G’day, it’s Caleb here with my first post.

I thought I’d just give some details on the new system we’re using for the smaller pigs. They are now allowed to free range within our permanently fenced acre, which I think is excellent – and I think they agree with me.

Having scared away a turkey, Pigachu goes about grazing

Having scared away a turkey, Pigachu goes about grazing

Their day now follows a simple routine. They wake up in the morning in their house – they mostly seem to be using the Villa del Porko, which Mum included a picture of in an earlier post. They go out and hopefully finish eating some of their leftover dinner from the previous night while they wait for me to arrive with breakfast. I come with breakfast, and open the gate to their pen, allowing them out into the paddock. They eat for a while, then go out and enjoy themselves foraging (and ploughing the ground for us). Come dinnertime, I show up again with food, and they follow me back into their small pen, where they eat dinner and I close the gate. They then have a pleasant night’s sleep in the Villa.

Dinner Time

They certainly seem to be enjoying it. And everything has worked out with remarkable smoothness. Our temporary fencing was initially very difficult to operate as a gate, since we had to re-tension it and retie our knots every time we wanted to open it up. But then we hit upon a pair of plastic handles, with springs inside and hooks on the end. So now our gate looks like this:

To open it, I simply need to grab the handle and move it across to this pole:

And then repeat the process with the other handle, to leave the gate open:

And putting it back is just as simple. There’s no difficulty herding the pigs at all, either. They are creatures of habit, and have very quickly become used to following me into their pen when I show up in the evening with dinner. The only trouble I have is keeping my feet around a trio of pushy pigs.

And do they, indeed, plough the ground? Do they ever. Here’s a couple of photos of what they managed to do after just a day on the full acre.

So overall, I’m very pleased with the new system. The pigs seem to be enjoying every moment of their time rooting out in the field, and the level of labour is very low. The only question is what to do when they run out of ground!

Pigachu, Bold Explorer

Pigachu, Bold Explorer