Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hot weather - pigs

We've had the hottest day ever in Western Washington a few days ago, and the pigs are really feeling the heat. They've excavated a wallow for themselves and are using it in groups. If I were a pig, that's where I'd be, too.
If you look closely in this picture, the larger pink pig is making good progress. it's actually pretty shallow -- maybe 18" deep -- and the smaller pig is alternatively swimming and riding on her back. there's some squealing and grumbling about that, but there's no risk of the larger pig being pushed under. when the smaller pig is on her, she's firmly on the ground.
They've got narrow inlets that they use to enter and leave the wallow. Here big momma is making her slow way up. the piglets were bathing in the exit, and they're not really happy that momma pushed all of the water away and is squeezing them against the sides of the channel. They work it out though -- big momma moves on through, and the piglets go back to floating.

floating is a favorite pastime. here's three pigs quietly floating, looking a lot like battleships.

The bigger pigs know the water is pretty cool stuff, but the smaller pigs approach it with care. The black and white piglet in the upper left is trying to get out, but the bank there is pretty steep. the pink and black piglets are very interested in the water, and will eventually slide in, but they have to do it very carefully. There's usually an eeek! just as they lose their grip on the bank and plunge into the water headfirst -- and then they're in the water, and that's pretty darned nice.

A good time was had by all.


Anonymous said...

Did the pigs actually make that wallow (ie digging) or did it already exist and they just enhanced it? Just exactly how smart are they?

Bruce King said...

They dug that wallow themselves. I don't think they knew the hot weather was coming, but they definitely do work to improve the environment for pigs. well, in a pigs view, anyways. i'm going to have to repair that bank and dredge out the dirt they pushed into the drainage ditch.