A day in the life of our traveling wilder piggies goes something like this. Piglets who have outstayed their welcome with their mama, at about 8-12 weeks are weaned. Mama is loaded into a metal sided trailer and returned to one of our two breeding groups, Mad Max's Mob or Wally's World as we call them.
The piglets are then loaded onto the trailer (after mama is gone) and put into one of our large barn stalls. After a week or so of getting used to humans feeding them instead of mommy dearest, we open up the stall door allowing them access to a small outside pen with a couple of electric wires.
Once they learn to R-E-S-P-E-C-T the magic of current the outside pen is enlarged. A couple weeks of that and they are ready for another trip in the trailer to the Big Outdoors loaded with all kinds of green grasses, mud holes and other buddies to romp with.
Shelter for this group is an antique barn on its very last legs. An original building to the farm circa 1895, it was used as a chicken coop for decades. When we took ownership in 1995, it became our goat barn. Many many kids born in that building. In 2008 when we decided to raise hogs year round, the goats were sold and the pigs took up residence. It looks fairly good from the front
But hogs can be tough on buildings. Really really tough
Lets zoom in on that shall we?
Amazing isn't it? Obviously the walls of this shed are not the supporting structure but rather it is the massive posts and beams installed over a hundred years ago that keep this baby upright. Last fall Keith and our intern Aaron worked very hard to shore up the building for one more winter. They used lots of leftover wood leaving the building with a sturdy patchwork look. About as Redneck as one could get but it worked. When they were done there were no gaping holes. Like this one now on the BACK side
At least the airflow is good. Note the fantastic roof Keith put up 10 years ago. Thanks goodness pigs can't climb or I am sure that would be in splinters as well.
So now we ponder when to tear the rest of the building down and what to replace it with. Obviously it will not make it through another winter. We'll be lucky if it makes it through the end of the week. In the meantime the hogs have a lovely picture window view and great fun running through their house without having to open a single door.
The life of Riley.