Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New life at FairWinds...

Two years ago we raised a couple of pigs to put pork in the freezer. They were kind of fun to raise, but to be honest, I was a little afraid of them by the time they got big. I figured if I fell in their pasture they would have me for supper. And they were pushy and bold, crashing against my legs like they were trying to topple me. But now I have Ziva, and she was bred to a.) protect me and b.) be bold with pigs. So I am feeling emboldened, too. And our family does like the taste of humanely raised pork. The plan was to find some little piglets this spring to bring home and raise.

Then my friend Scott called me last week. He had found a deal on some well started piglets,and did I want a couple? Of course I did. Bonus points, they are a breed called Red Wattles. They have adorable little things dangling off their necks. I think they are enchanting!
Scott kindly picked the piglets up and delivered them today. That's a good friend.

He had other pigs on the trailer as well. Two for him, and 4 more for other people. So there was a project... getting two pigs off the trailer and no more. Scott masterfully backed up just to the very edge of the hot wire. His friends carefully separated two piglets from the rest of the herd with a big piece of plywood. Before you could say "bacon!" two little girl pigs were off the trailer and exploring their new little pasture. They have a little house filled with clean, bright straw, a big pan of clean water, a food dish with dinner, and a couple of tasty ginger snaps. They have been raised on a concrete pad, and were pretty excited to root around in the dirt of the pasture.

Ziva was VERY interested in the sounds and smells coming from the trailer. Then she sniffed the electric fence and got 15,000 volts of electricity from the electric wire to her chin. It dampened her enthusiasm to the extent that she left the pasture and sat in the back yard, sulking pathetically. Poor Ziva!

Earlier in the day, Chanel and the goats had spent some time enjoying the warm spring sunshine.

Chanel has a new trick. She lies just outside the window, flat out. She looks very, very dead. People driving by stop their cars to look at the odd horse lying so still. When I see her doing that I open a window and call her name. She does not move. At this point I become convinced that she is dead. And I begin to wonder what one does with a dead horse. And I feel sad that she is dead. About that time she raises her head. I am getting more gray hair thanks to her shenanigans!

Shortly after the pigs were ensconced in their new home, Chanel came out to investigate. She looked intently at the piglets. She lifted her head and flared her nostrils. She inhaled deeply. Cautiously she stepped closer, ears pointed forward, eyes intent on the forms of the new creatures. Then she got their scent. She pivoted on a dime, bucked hard and galloped away, throwing clods of mud behind her. Horses dislike pigs. The goats were all eyes, extending their necks, craning to see what those things in the newly cordoned pasture were. In a few days everyone will be acclimated to each other and peace will reign.

The grass is greening and spring is coming along nicely. And there is new life at FairWinds.

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