July 16, 2014

Pig Alert

It started with chickens under the blueberry bush. Not that I haven't had chickens there before, hunting for fallen blueberries, but this time they weren't supposed to be there. I use gates and cattle panels to route animals (chickens, goats, and pig) to the areas where I want them. That way I can rest an area from being overgrazed, or, as is the case this time of year, keep the bucks and does separated by more than one fence to keep the bucks from getting too rambunctious, if you know what I mean. Somehow, the chickens had gotten into the front pasture.

I didn't think much about it until later in the day, when I heard the kids hollering. Initially I didn't think much of that either, because goat kids will holler about everything: they can't find their siblings, they can't find their mom, they can see their mom but she's too far away (so they expect her to come to them and holler about it), or simply because somebody else starts hollering. Zoey's Li'l Red was getting pretty worked up, however, so I thought I'd better go check. As I approached the gate, all nine goats ran past. Something must be going on. As I got closer, I saw this...

How did he get in there? He came running up to greet me when he saw me, apparently very pleased with himself for being there. A quick walk of the fence and a gate check revealed this...

Somebody (or some pig) had pushed his way through the log barricade and wiggled his way under the gate. Pigs are notorious fence crashers and obviously our gating situation isn't pig, chicken, or baby goat proof. I blame the uneven land with all its bumps and ridges, but also we were pretty new to fence and gate installation when we did this one.

No pig wrangling took place, but after Waldo made his way back I added a few more rocks to the under-gate log barricade. I can see why he liked it with the girls. Their pasture has quite a bit of clover in it and pigs love clover. My plan has been to allow Waldo and his bride in here anyway, shortly after she arrives. In the meantime I figure no harm done, other than startling the goats.

So far, the girls and their kids have made it a point to keep their distance. But I reckon they'll get used to him soon enough.


  1. Yep livestock are notorious for finding gaps and escape holes, Our chooks and Alpacas and bees are just in one big 4acre patch until we get fences up, Alpacas dont challange fences so a rope is enough to keep them away from the bee hives and the greenhouse, the chickens prefer to come into the garden why I dont know they have loads of space so I have been chicken proofing gaps to keep them in the field, all mayhem is going to break out when the pigs arrive in a fortnight.

  2. Try finding a gate lock they cant undo. Pigs are smart. When i was 17 i worked in the office of one of those awful intensive pig breeding factories. There were 16000 on site. Try combining their collective intelligence and it was a never ending job to keep them locked in. Im sorry to admit i was a part of the industry but i knew no better and jobs in small towns are in short supply.

  3. Haha, sneaky little devil! He was just lonely. I love that he will already come right to you, even though you have only had him for a little bit. That is great!


  4. Is that red ball his? Did he push it through to play with after supper? Good Waldo!

  5. Dawn, you have no fences?!?!? I'm sure you have a full time job on your hands just keeping track of your critters!

    Lynda, it isn't the lock, it's the gaps under the gates!

    It would be tough to have knowledge now about industrial food that you didn't then. But, we all grow up thinking society's way of doing things is the norm. We think our culture is the right and only way. Fortunately, enough of us around the world are waking up.

    Stephanie, he was a bit shy at first but he's come around. And there's never a dull moment with critters!

    Barb, no, actually the ball isn't for him. It's my granddaughter's ball that Dan tossed in for the kids, but they ignore it. I'll have to see if Waldo wants to play!

  6. We actually had to set up an electric wire/fence to keep ours in their space. They get very creative..

  7. I love the picture of the goats staring at him like he is from Mars! He's just following his new friends around, even if they scream at him for doing so.

  8. Maybe a spider told him how to get under there. That's some pig!

  9. smart pig! But oh so sweet. I would take some spikes and run them through your logs to hold them in place better, that or get some concrete and set them in place. I'm thinking that you get too much rain to just use dirt to raise the ground up.
    speaking of rain, our weather thinks it is still June and we are still getting monsoon rains instead of super heat... I have lots of tomatoes but they aren't getting ripe. :-/

  10. Escape Artist!
    I have one of those, a goat named Delilah!

  11. Little guy maybe wanted some company ? He looks so small in the big field, all aloooooone :)

  12. Leigh,

    Waldo is a smart little pig. I'm happy to hear he ended up with the goats and not wondering off some where else.

    Is it possible to wire a few tree (logs) together and put them permanently on the bottom of your gate?

    We picked up some free concrete building blocks off of Craig's list to block the open bottom of our fence.

    Waldo will be happy when is little lady arrives.

  13. Aside from being naughty, Waldo is awfully cute. I could forgive him anything lol.

  14. Izzy, we've talked about electric netting, but have yet to make any purchase. If he starts getting off the property, we'll definitely have to do something!

    Mom at home, he's more used to goats than the girls are to pigs!

    Harry, LOL

    Renee, either of those ideas are good ones, or rocks. Wish you could send us some rain, we haven't had any for two months.

    Sandra, would she by chance be Nigerian Dwarf? :)

    Nancy, he is very comfortable with the goats and the bucks pretty much accept him although they don't think he'll ever be in their class. :)

    Sandy, concrete blocks would probably work quite well. Or rocks.

    Gloria, well, I don't really mind him getting in there, so all is right in Waldo's World.

  15. Looks like you're going to be living a version of "Where's Waldo!" Perhaps he needs a red and white striped hat! :)

  16. After going into town last week to purchase a ham to bake and not finding one until the third and last store,(not much choice in a small place, I came home determined to get my own pig. Doing a little homework now and finding your piggy posts an inspiration.


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