Daphne and Fiona have been a wonderful addition to the place. We have learned a great deal about pigs over the last few months. Here are a few things we have learned...
Pigs are very vocal and have a wide variety of noises I wish I could understand.
There is no place to hang on to on a pig.
You can't hide a pill in a banana.
All they think about is food.
Pigs LOVE to run and play.
And they need their feet trimmed. I hadn't thought of that until I got them but it didn't discourage me. My dad taught me how to trim my pony's feet as a kid. I have been trimming goats' feet for 37 years. I can trim the llama's feet. A pig can't be that hard.
I was a little concerned because most people, I have heard, get the vet out to sedate the pig and trim but that costs around $300 in our area. There is no way I was going to pay someone when hubby and I could do it.
The woman we got them from said that if we get them on their back they will stop struggling and you can trim them. She said they would squeal but that they would at least be still. So we had a plan. The plan was for hubby to pick one up and get its feet off the ground and I would trim. Easier said than done. There was no way we could get her on her back.There is no where to hang on to a pig that doesn't want to have anything to do with what you are doing. I had my tools ready.....goat hoof trimmers and some pruners just in case. After much running around the pen trying to grab a pig we got Fiona up off her feet. She squealed at the top of her lungs the entire time. Neither the goat trimmers or the pruners would cut the hoof. While hubby kept Fiona suspended I ran for the horse nippers. They were sharp enough but very awkward due to their length. Pigs have very short legs and to get under her and bend her hoof so I could trim it was hard work. All the time she is SCREAMING at the top of her pig lungs right in my ear. You see, pigs are prey animals. They always think they are going to be eaten. There is no convincing them otherwise. You just have to get on with the deed as quickly as possible. We trimmed Fiona's hooves and started in on Daphne when I sensed a presence behind me. I just couldn't look up from what I was doing to see who it was and couldn't hear a word this person was saying due to the screaming in my ear. I dropped the last hoof and turned around with sweat streaming down my face. There was our very British, gentleman farmer neighbor wondering what in the "bloody hell" we were doing to the pigs. He hung over the fence for a while and told tales of the pigs he had had. Turns out he is quite a pig fan. With the assurance we would call him and warn him next time we trim the pigs' feet he went back over to his farm. He was worried something was eating the pig girls. I tell you they are getting quite a fan club.
So we got the job done. Not as neatly as I would have liked so I was out to find the perfect pig hoof trimming tool. I happened to be in Sears and remembered that I needed something to trim the pigs hooves and found these great tin snips gone hoof trimmers (to quote my friend Marigold). I CAN wait to try them out on the pigs. They worked great on the goats!
We have learned a lot about our pigs. The most important being.......let pigs be pigs. They don't have to be anything other than what God intended them to be. PIGS.
And maybe invite my hubby's big burly friend over when it's time to trim again.