Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You don't want a picture with this....

What better is there to do on a damp, dreary day than to clean a pig stall? This is the kind of task that is serious enough to warrant tying my hair back & putting on mucking boots. Pigs manage to generate just a special kind of muck that is wet, heavy & clings to the shovel when you try to sling it into the wheelbarrow. It is heavy work both to fill the wheelbarrow & then to empty it again in the compost pile. Our pigs are vegetarians simply because we choose to feed them only grains & vegetables but a pig is an omnivore. It will eat anything including other pigs.... Anyways, I add their stall cleanings to the compost pile along with the other good organics.

Because of the cold temperatures we'd been rotating the piglets between dirt-floored stalls in the stable. They love to wallow in the hay & dirt & have plenty of room to roam as these are large horse stalls. They do love to overturn their water trough to make mud baths but tend to contain that to one side of the stall just as they always use a far corner for their bathroom. We'd moved the pigs to a clean stall just over the weekend so I tackled their deserted stall today. I took a nice wheelbarrow load out to the compost pile. I dug back down to the original dirt floor and that is drying out. Tomorrow I'll rake some new "recycled hay" (what the sheep pull off of the bales but do not eat) in & move the pigs back as the nighttime temperatures are supposed to be in the 20's again. Before long the larger piglets can go outside to their new grassy pasture. The littlest guys will be a few weeks behind most likely but as long as we have several stalls with nice windows & skylights to alternate between, the pigs are happy.

Before I tackled the empty stall, I washed feed & water troughs for the piglets. They are always thrilled to see new food & water. And they are getting more interested in me. So much so that one of the larger piglets grabbed the back of my pant leg & gave it a good hard shake. Pigs will bite so I jumped. He jumped when I jumped, innocently returning to the fresh water. Guess I'll have to be on my toes as the pigs don't instinctively back away when I enter their stall.

No comments:

Post a Comment