Friday, February 11, 2011

Gilts behaving badly

After a hard day of free-ranging, the Three 
Little Pigs snooze in the turkey roost area. 
(Photo by David B. Miller)

"It's like three of the most gorgeous [gilts] raising hell."
-Molly Shannon as Mary Catherine Gallagher in SNL's hilarious film Superstar

Oh, those pigs. Sigh. The Three Little Pigs (can I just say that they are NOT afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, so you needn't e-mail me), unlike our first four Tamworths, are determined to prove that their reputation as escape artists is well deserved. No matter how we adjust the two strands of electric rope, they continue to find new ways to get out. During their first week here, we actually saw them jump over the fence. Frankly, I never imagined pigs could jump; it was quite a sight, believe you me.

The Three Little Pigs are all gilts; that is, female pigs less than a year old. Why this batch are so different from the others we've had is a mystery to us. It's not as if they are hungry and just busting out looking for food. It's not that they are simply adventurous little things that want to see the world. We're rapidly coming to the conclusion that they are breaking out pretty much because they can. Apparently being pasture-raised isn't enough for some pigs; they want to literally free-range like all the birds do. At least they don't seem inclined to disappear into the woods, thank goodness.

I figured out the other day that they respond to a waving broom much more positively than to waving arms. For some reason it is relatively easy to herd them back into their yard with the broom (I did this by myself a few days ago, much to everyone's surprise). Not that I'm wasting time analyzing the whys and wherefores; it's good enough for me that I've found something that works. I'd much prefer to find a way to prevent them escaping in the first place, but what the heck, they're going to be slaughtered in a couple of months anyway.

Poor little pigs, they seem so happy when they're running free and turning over the birds' feeders and rooting up my garden. Gilts, you know, just want to have fun.


  1. Hola Victoria, jumping gilts and waving brooms...greetings from san cristobal de las casas, chiapas...where pigs are weird, always in concentration for the next snack!! a huuug for david...I remember your place and cutting wood with a serious stop at the edge of the cliff contemplating the wishes for you all. Roger Maldonado

  2. Well, Roger, what a nice surprise! How are things in San Cristobal? Hugs to you from both of us, and thanks for checking out my blog.

  3. You got that right, Nate! We made some breakfast sausage last night with fresh garlic, fresh ginger and sage, and of course the Tamworth pork. Fried some up and had it with fresh eggs and toast for dinner; that has got to be the best sausage ever.