Yesterday I repaired a couple of broken boards in the Pig Palace — 300-lb hogs are tough on facilities — and put my five piglets out on a rough piece of ground on the cabin knoll. Though there is a bit of grass, there are more roots and rocks. My hope is that the pigs will entertain themselves by digging these up for me.
The piglets looked tiny in the big enclosure. They were bewildered by the wide open spaces, the new sights, sounds, and smells. Grass! Scrumptious dirt! Ouch — blackflies!
They moved around, investigating, tightly grouped and pivoting together like synchronized swimmers — too excited to eat or drink.
I tried to show them the cozy hay nest I’d fluffed for them in the Pig Palace. I’d even provided a cement block as a stepping stone. However they were too nervous to come to me. When I left at dusk they were snoozing in the soft dirt half under a stump.
Today I will attempt to entice them with treats to check out the Palace. After five days of cool drizzle, it is going to be hot and I want them to know how to get out of the sun.
Sunburn and heatstroke are real dangers for pigs.