Heating Up

The temperatures have consistently hit the 80s over the past week or so. As hogs don’t sweat, they have to be provided with shade and a way to cool off – most commonly by coating themselves with mud. Setting up a wallow for the pastured hogs was simple enough. I spliced into the irrigation tubing that delivers a constant supply of water to the hog waterer and ran another piece of tubing off to the side where I installed a spot water emitter. All I had on hand was a 2 GPH (gallon per hour) emitter so I set that up and ordered a packet of 0.5 GPH emitters. That meant that I had to remember to turn off the water after a couple of hours or else flood out the wallow and the adjoining pen.

The 0.5 GPH emitters were delivered the other day and I went out to replace the 2 GPH. When I turned the water on and then went back to check to ensure it was working I was appalled to find that the 0.5 GPH dripped faster than the 2 GPH. So I am back to having to turn on the water for a few hours in the AM, then off, and then remember to turn it back on for a couple of hours in the PM again. (If you double-click on the photo you can actually see the water dripping.)

The wallow will be covered with a tarp for shade as soon as the permanent pen is built

The wallow will be covered with a tarp for shade as soon as the permanent pen is built

The two hogs still in a small pen within the working pen are another problem. Bok Choy has been unwell for the past couple of weeks. It started with her not eating or drinking but no other signs of illness. After syringing water down her to ensure she stayed hydrated, she started to eat and drink on her own again a couple of days later but then began to be uncoordinated. After reading a 400 plus page veterinary text on pigs, there really wasn’t anything that fit her signs so I opted for supportive care. While I toyed with the idea of giving her penicillin, since I wasn’t able to give her a vitamin B-12 injection (she might have been unsteady on her feet but she was still stronger than me when I tried to restrain her) I decided that twice a day shots just wasn’t going to be feasible. She has continued to eat and drink and would stagger up to the fence to say hello every morning and evening and I finally started to see improvement in how she was moving. So this morning, I opened up the hog pen and let Hoggle and Bok Choy have the run of the working pen while I cleaned out their pen. This afternoon I went out to make sure they still had water and after emptying their water trough in the middle of the working pen to clean it, I carried it back to their pen and refilled it with clean water. I looked back to see Hoggle and Bok Choy enjoying a new wallow so I added more water (and sprayed them down as well.)

If Bok Choy continues to improve, I’ll keep to my plans of relocating Hoggle and Bok Choy out to the pasture at the end of June.



  1. i love reading these things….the problem solving that goes in to how to figure stuff out. How sometimes, sometimes, Often, it doesn’t work as planned, but we just keep going and figure it out.

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