Pasture Pigs (or Hogs)

The American Guinea Hogs were picked up in the middle of a cold spell so they were situated in a dog kennel in the barn initially to keep them warm and dry. However, the weather has done a complete shift, with days in the 70s and the hogs were growing so it was time to move them out to their permanent home – the pasture.

They needed a secure night pen first so I ordered some hog panels cut in half. I couldn’t find an appropriately sized water trough locally so the pigs have a temporary trough that requires them to stand on their hind legs to drink. A new water trough is on order. I intended to move them to pasture on Saturday but was able to get help on Friday evening so quickly threw up the night pen and filled the trough.

Then the fun . . . how to move two hogs. Hogs (pigs) don’t have necks to speak of so using a rope was pretty much out. While we did try a couple of times, it soon became apparent that even the tightest tied rope would slide right off a fast moving hog. We tried enticing with a grain bucket but they weren’t falling for that trick. I had a dog on a leash as a back up but needed to get them out of the barn first. Finally we caught the smallest and I picked it up by the front and back feet, basically suspending it as for a barbecue but without the pole. I had thought that we would need to move the largest (Hamlock) since the littler one (Ham-let) was more likely to follow him, but as it turned out once Ham-let started squealing, Hamlock became upset and started trotting along behind. If he got distracted and started to veer off, a friend would simply bring Tuck up a little closer and my friend (who was now holding both back feet while I had the front feet – the little sucker was heavy) and I would just slightly shake Ham-let to make him squeal and Hamlock would come running up.

Unfortunately no photos since my hands were full, but after the initial abortive attempts to get them out of the barn, it was surprisingly easy to get them out to the pasture.

So here they are right after being re-penned in the pasture.

Hamlock checking out the doghouse stuffed with hay

Hamlock checking out the doghouse stuffed with hay

The next morning I fed them in the pen before opening the gate and letting them out into the pasture.

First breakfast in new digs

First breakfast in new digs

I needed to do some more renovations on their night pen so got busy -- the person I bought them from told me that they wouldn't push on fences if they couldn't see through them so, taking him at his word, I put cardboard between the hog panel and the fence posts to block their view (and the winds, etc.)

I needed to do some more renovations on their night pen so got busy — the person I bought them from told me that they wouldn’t push on fences if they couldn’t see through them so, taking him at his word, I put cardboard between the hog panel and the fence posts to block their view (and the winds, etc.)

I put a tarp up over one end of the pen so they have a nice shady spot right next to the water trough to keep cool.

I put a tarp up over one end of the pen so they have a nice shady spot right next to the water trough to keep cool.

Hard to see but Ham-let is squeezed in next to Hamlock.

Hard to see but Ham-let is squeezed in next to Hamlock.

They weren't really anxious to get out to see the world. Hamlock, being the larger, is also the boldest. But eventually Ham-let did leave the pen to join his half-brother.

They weren’t really anxious to get out to see the world. Hamlock, being the larger, is also the boldest. But eventually Ham-let did leave the pen to join his half-brother.

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