Sunday, 14 October 2012

Three Little Stubborn Pigs

Late yesterday we loaded the pigs into the trailer ready for a little journey in the morning!

The photos make it look easy, but believe you me it was far from it. Not the comical chaos which has happened in the past - my ingenious fencing ensures there's no stress about the pigs escaping off into the big, wide countryside.

No, this was more a battle of wills, who could be the most stubborn!!
First problem was that, in a very un-pig-like way, none of the girls seemed bothered by a bucket of food, despite it being well past their evening meal time. Next time, they don't even get fed in the morning!

Second problem was that one, the spottiest, was very wary about leaving its pen. Pigs don't like crossing boundaries at the best of times, but this one had a real problem with it. Several times we had to let the more adventurous pair leave the pen then go back in. Each time we hoped the third would follow them back out. Each time it lost its bottle and doubled back at the last moment, as the gate was being shut on it.

Eventually all 3 pigs were on the move

At long last the Three Pigs were out into the corridoor leading to the stables, and progress was reasonable until the end of the straight, when the same pig just kept doubling back, several times all the way back to its pen. Thank goodness it couldn't get back in there. We improvised a barrier at the half way point, which came in handy another half dozen times or so.

The Three Little Pigs lingered awhile
 before being ignominiously shoved
up into the trailer

We have learned to give it time and accept that it takes some pigs a few approaches before they are willing to enter a new area. Not that I wasn't getting totally stressed about it all by the end. Darkness was approaching and I was being led a right merry dance.

Anyway, we finally got them past the next barrier and into the limited area by the stables. But persuading these three to go up the ramp into the trailer was never going to be easy. At last, one showed enough interest in our liberal sprinkling of food pellets and apples to snuffle around at the base of the ramp. This was our cue to inch it up the ramp using every ounce of stubbornness we had and a couple of sheep hurdles to ease it along the way. Once up, it didn't look back and we were able to repeat the process with the next and, finally, the third little pig.  

At last the third pig is on its way in.
Well, that was yesterday, and this was this morning.
The Three Pigs, all blinged up with their ear tags, ready to go.

The short drive to the abattoir went smoothly and we didn't even have to queue when we got there (which meant not having to reverse the trailer with a line of onlookers).

The guy who gets up every Sunday to receive the animals made moving the three pigs look ridiculously easy! I couldn't even get them to stand up.
They were ushered past the pens of sheep, goats and other pigs and into their own little cubicle, where they could relax until Monday morning! Which is when I need to pay a visit to my butcher and give them the cutting instructions.

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