Sunday, May 9, 2010

Good day on the farm

My herd of pigs is pretty varied in age.  It gives me a chance to watch how the herd dynamics work, and it's pretty interesting every day.   This picture is a bunch of my piglets, running around with their mom, who forms the left side of this picture.  They don't know why they're running this way -- at this point they're following mom, and quite a bit of the herd knowledge starts out this way.  "We are running this way because mom is walking this way".  Later they'll figure out what mom has figured out -- that the food comes over here, and at a particular time, and that somehow it's associated with me.  These guys are 3 weeks old, and by the time they're 8 weeks they'll have it down to a science.  They'll know that when I walk over and look at them in the morning that it's not worth even opening their eyes.  Sleeping in is important.  Later in the day, they'll open their eyes and look carefully at my hands.  Am I carrying a bucket/do i have something in my hands?  That's worth coming over to look.  Sometimes thats strawberries that are past their prime for a human, but a delicious treat for a piglet!

  Around 4pm, when I appear, it's worth running down and standing in a line and squealing because that's when the food comes.

And in the middle, and between, there's always something to do for a piglet.  A chicken to chase, (the chickens don't let the piglets catch them, but they try) or grass to eat, or maybe a snooze to be had in the dry hay in the warmth of the dome.
Or maybe, if we've been really really good piglets and we ask mom really nicely, she'll roll over for us. 
This is a good day at the farm.  This is why I do it. 

5 comments:

Joanne Rigutto said...

Great post Bruce! I'm always amazed at how aware of their environment our animals are. Everyone has different things they key on, most having to do with food....

sheila said...

I loved raising pigs years ago on the dairy farm, but my 1/2 acre is too small to keep one now. I'm afraid my neighbors would complain. I contract with a local farmer to raise me one every year instead.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be good if all farm animals lived such contented lives.

Tammy R. said...

I love this post! I feed twice daily, and when our pigs see me coming the drool starts running. They are really fun to watch.

Tamera said...

Keep up the good work Bruce. I always enjoy your posts!