Hello everyone! Sorry for the long delay between blogs, we have been pretty busy lately and winter has set in here in northern Minnesota, so I haven’t had much to write about.
I wrapped up my last blog by asking you to stay tuned for a funny little story about how I got my pigs into the trailer to take them to the butcher, so as promised, here it is:
So after five quick months it was time for me to bring my pigs into the butcher shop. I was scheduled to bring them in at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday, so I needed to have them loaded up and ready to go the night before. I got home after a long day of work and headed right out to the pig pen. Typically the thing to do would be to park the trailer in the pen a couple days in advance and let the pigs get used to it. Well between work and borrowing a stock trailer from my uncle, that wasn’t an option. My pen also isn’t really set up to back a trailer into it. So, I back the trailer up to the pen, open up a fence panel to create a little funnel that leads right to the door of the trailer, I drop a bucket of corn and a bag of apples into the trailer to entice the pigs to climb aboard.
The trap has been set but they are on to me, they are looking at that trailer like they know exactly where it is going to take them. I give them a few minutes to work their way on to the trailer but they have no interest in following my plan. I am a patient man but by this time it is dark, getting cold, and I am hungry, these pigs need to get with the program. I hop into the pen and start working them towards the trailer, they will walk right up to it but just won’t get on. After a few more minutes of watching them I come to the conclusion that the step up onto the trailer might be what is stopping them from getting on. Now I like to consider myself a pretty strong fella, and these pigs didn’t grow nearly a large as I had planned, so I figured I am just going to give them a big hug and lift their front ends onto the trailer and then they will just walk right on. So I work the smallest of the pigs over to the door, I get in position and wrap my arms around this pig right behind its front legs, I take a deep breath and lift with all my might!
Now, I would love to tell you that that pig came flying off the ground and I tossed it right into the trailer, but I swear to you that little piggy’s front legs made it maybe two inches off the ground. I repositioned and got a good grip and let ‘er rip again. This time I pulled so hard I nearly blew my back out. Same result. At about that time the pig decided it was no longer enjoying the bear hug I had it in, it started squealing, bucking, twist and shouting, and I lost my grip. The pig rejoined it siblings over on the other side of the pen. As I walked over to my group of hogs I can see in their eyes that any trust they had for me is long gone.
Time for a new plan. At this point I still believe the step up on to the trailer is my problem, so I go find a cinder block to use as a step, jack up the front of the trailer as to lower the back of the trailer, and place some corn right on the step. Now I am in business! After only a few minutes one curious pig climbed right on the trailer, and one more shortly after that. At this rate, I will be inside eating dinner in no time. Just about the time I started to feel pretty good about how this was going, one of the pigs comes strolling right out of the trailer and rejoins the group of skeptical pigs. So now I need to keep the pigs in the trailer without discouraging the rest of them from getting in. There is a dividing door inside the trailer so it wasn’t exactly rocket surgery figuring out how to do it. Wait until a pig climbs into the trailer, get in there with it, close the door behind me, work it to the front of the trailer, close the divider, repeat nine times and get eat dinner. Well, that was the plan at least. It worked pretty well for the first seven pigs, it only took about 10 minutes before I was down to the last two pigs. Of course one of the last two was the little one that I had attempted to lift earlier.
These last two pigs have zero interest in getting in that trailer. I am losing my patience. They are on the opposite end of the pen at this point so I go in there and try to work them back to the the trailer. This involved me walking down the center of the pen with my arms spread wide trying to take up as much room as possible. It would have worked much better if the mud wasn’t half way to my knee! Every time the pigs would try to go around me I would try to move quickly to the left or right but my boots would get stuck in the mud and I would come close to falling over. So it was back to the drawing board.
My pigpen is made out of hog and cattle panels, which at 16′ long fence panels(Check out the picture if you’ve never seen one), and fortunately I had one extra cattle panel laying around. I wrestled that panel into the pig pen, worked the pigs out of the back corner, then swung the panel across the width of the pen behind them. Now I’m cooking with fire! So there I am, walking towards the trailer, through a foot of mud and pig crap, holding a 16′ cattle panel, finally getting the last two pigs heading for the trailer. The first one admitted defeat and climbed into the trailer, but that little one knew better. This little pig would just not give up. I kept closing in on him until he had nowhere to go but in the trailer. Then after a three-hour struggle, there was a moment of calm, the pig looked at me and I could have sworn he oinked “you win” as he stepped on the trailer. Victory tastes nearly as good as bacon!
Thanks for checking out the blog! We want to wish everyone a happy new year, we will have a lot of cool stuff going on here at Whiskey Creek Farm in 2019 and we can’t wait to share them with all of you.
We recently add a “General Store” page to our site, it is a place you can go to find out what products we are using here on the farm, read reviews on products, and buy them if you would like. You can get to the General Store by going to our home page and clicking “General Store” on the menu, or just click here. Be sure to check back regularly as we will be adding items and product reviews.