As we enter our Treat the Pig for Worms and Prep Their Shed for Piglets phase of things, we started by injecting each pig with a syringeful of Ivermectin. This was a somewhat dire step, taken out of necessity and hopefully not to be repeated anytime soon. From this point, we should be able to keep worms at bay with the simple addition of garlic powder to their food.
It is worth noting that it is no small thing to give a four milliliter injection to two 350 pound pigs.
Dave dutifully volunteered to do the deed and I didn’t argue with him. I played nurse and filled the syringes and kept them sterile and handed them over one at a time. The trick to the whole endeavor was to remember that there wouldn’t be time to inject and then plunge, because the moment the pig feels the needle s/he is going to squeal and gallop off. Dave had to employ the “plungejection”–a one-swift-movement needle injection/plunge combo that is not for the feint of heart.
He was able to dose Bubble on the first try. Squeak took two plungejections, and both pigs, despite the little bit of visible blood afterward fared just fine. They certainly were undaunted as we then set to work on opening a second door in their shed.
First, we cut away an opening under the window. The cut away piece will end up functioning as the door itself.
Because pigs are the exact opposite of chickens in every way except that they are both animals, they love change. They find it interesting and exciting and they can’t seem to wait to find out what will happen next!?!
This heightened level of excitement is fun for the pigs, but not for the guy who is trying to build a door.
Dave tried reasoning with them, scolding them, even luring them away toward something shiny… all to no avail. Those two wanted nothing more than to sit in the new doorway and bite things as things came their way.
Once the hinges were installed next to the opening, Squeak spent several minutes trying to eat them. Bubble was more interested in munching on the extension cord to the power drill.
Neither of them contributed in any way to the success of this project.
It took about 15 minutes to maneuver around both pigs to merely get the door close enough to the shed to attach it. Dave carried the door like a wooden cape in a benign bullfight of sorts. The pigs, of course, were far more interested in the cape than the matador.
Once circumvented, however, the door was hung easily and Bubble and Squeak returned to rooting through their newest bale of mulch hay.
Our next step will be to install a divider inside the shed so that Bubble and her piglets will be safe from Squeak’s giganticness during the Easily-Squished portion of their lives.
So, the door was really the easy part. The divider will undoubtedly prove more challenging, as will wiring the lines outdoors to divide them totally when the time comes.
It is safe to assume that the pigs will be of no carpentry help for those jobs either.