September 23, 2010
Life is hard for Romeo, when he is courting Juliet, Juliet, Juliet and Juliet.
We were wondering how we would be able to tell that the Boar had matured enough to be a threat to the, you know, "Midwestern values" of our ladies prematurely. Turns out, he made it pretty clear. He developed a very lovable affection for rubbing their bellies (raw) and trying to, you know, spoon them (when they were trying to go about their lives).
So we, with the help of our versatile (and apparently totally safe for everything but Skittish Pig) electro-net fence, have divided our pigs into three groups.
One is Lonely Boy. He has to live all by himself in the only pen we have that is more than a just a mental barrier. Because, clearly, when you need to rub bellies and spoon, only actual physical barriers can stand the heat. Especially when you love making out so much.
And have such a strong nose.
So then, the welded wire mesh is barely enough. Especially with such tempting getaway sticks on the other side.
He does have an advantage in having the best available scratching post (the door into the barn). Others have to use less hardy means to rub their heads. But the Big Pigs, at least, are very assertive about these rights.
The Juliets have also been separated, according to size. The Littles (Stump and Little Red) are in the pen adjacent to the Boar, with as much food as they can eat 24/7. The Bigs are on a diet. They are at the point where they convert food to body mass at a fairly inefficient rate, so we figured we should turn them out to the pasture for a while. They are already at breeding size, so now we just need to sustain them.
They are doing well at it. Very vocal when they see the Little Juliets getting piles and piles of food. But also content to nap under the burdocks and root up every inch of their space, transforming the matted, overgrown pasture into 8 inches of loose tilled soil. Which is, of course, exactly what we want from them these days.