A Bit of Pig Progress

So often on a farm things are falling apart and breaking down. All you can do is keep a running tally of needed repairs.

A broken latch. A popped bolt. A split in the hose that sprays you every time you water the animals. Katika gets annoyed with the three-hundred-pound foster calf and throws him with a toss of her head across the barn aisle — and you hear the timbers splinter. Fix Katika’s stall gate, you add to the To-Do list. (My list for the next two weeks is already two pages long.)

So it’s heartening when an annoying problem is solved for you effortlessly by someone else.

My pigs have always loved to tip over their water bucket. Their affection for mud and their compulsion to root means that a brimming rubber bucket doesn’t last long. They’ll all crowd around thirstily to drink and then someone puts his head down and begins to push and prod at the base. Soon the bucket is overturned. The pigs play happily in the mud but inevitably thereafter notice they are thirsty again.

I had mentioned this problem once to D when he brought his granddaughter out to see the pigs. I told him the traditional solution was to put the bucket inside a tire, but that I had never been able to find a tire of the right size for my water bucket.

Two days ago D, who is a truck driver and mechanic, brought me a small, very heavy tire. It fits the bucket exactly.

Now the pigs can’t tip over the water. Of course I still have to wash the bucket morning and evening because the pigs like to stand in the water while drinking.

And sometimes take a shower.

Still, the water supply now lasts for hours instead of minutes.

It’s great to make progress that I did not engineer. Thank you, D!

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