The First Piglet Outbreak was awful.
I came home, hoping to settle down and finally build the 16 beehive frames I urgently need before I can take honey this Monday. I went out to check on all the animals to find two grown pigs, one of whom (Mama Pig) seemed unsettled and agitated, and ZERO piglets. They weren’t in the shed, they weren’t in the garden, they weren’t anywhere. They were just GONE.
Papa Pig was snoozing unconcernedly on a pile of mulch hay, but Mama Pig was giving me an earnest and, to be honest, somewhat unsettling, look that clearly said, “Go find my babies, Human. And be quick about it.”
So, Tatum and I started searching in every direction. We must have walked over two miles through the woods around our property looking for them.
The main problem when searching for piglets is that, unlike dogs, you can’t really call for them. They don’t know their names (largely because they don’t have names); they don’t listen for a whistle; they just are out somewhere in the wide world, being pigs.
I couldn’t imagine that they’d have gone very far from their mama, but there was just no hint of them anywhere.
Checking for the third time around the farm, I saw that they had wrecked a stunning level of havoc in both chicken coops. Waterers were overturned and emptied, feeders were downright busted apart and strewn about, and even the earth was rooted up in a ravaged and obnoxious way.
So, I gave up looking for them long enough to reassemble the coops and convince the chickens that everything would be alright. After a brief PTSD counseling session with the flock, I resumed my search.
Deciding that there was no way they would wander too far from their Mama’s milky teats, I worked my way back toward their enclosure and forced my way into some thick growth between them and the woods. Turns out the whole Gang of Jerks (as they shall henceforth be known) was only about 25 yards from Mama Pig the whole time, sleeping in some deep growth that couldn’t be seen or reached without a machete.
We flushed them out of their bunker and back to Mama, but not without some choice words I never would have thought adorable little piglets would drive me to use.
A friend of mine was surprised that I hadn’t been moved to massacre them right then and there. As he put it, “you had the machete; the rest is bacon.”
And, after The Second Piglet Outbreak, I was starting to agree with him.
But it was The Third Piglet Outbreak that drove us to explore reinforcing our electric fencing situation.
While you might think that 8,000 volt electric wires strung at piglet-height around the entirety of the pig-designated area would suffice, it most clearly did not. Why Mama and Papa pig squeal appropriately when touching it, but the piglets run right through it seemingly unmolested, remains an utter mystery.
But that’s how it seems to be.
So, Dave ran one length of full-size electric fencing along the chicken-coop side of things, hoping against hope that this might dissuade The Gang of Jerks from their jerky antics.
It did not.
All it did, really, was to provide an elaborate detour for the piglets on their way to wreck the chicken coops.
So, we are back to the drawing board.
And, I have to admit, my craving for bacon is increasing daily.