Monday, March 31, 2008

Gearing Up

It is time, once again, to trim the pig's hooves. I dread this job because it was such a fiasco last time. We had screaming and struggling and hastily trimmed hooves. I have tried to think of an easier way to do it that doesn't involve the vet and a 300 dollar bill. I have even entertained the idea of giving them some beer and getting them drunk (please don't judge me until you have tried to clip the feet of an eighty pound hunk of solid strength that is screaming in your ear) but my hubby reminded me that they could be mean drunks. And since we have never been drinking with the pig sisters we have no way of knowing this. So I did what I always do, Googled it. I found the California Pot Bellied Pig Association. They had a few articles on the subject so I emailed a lady there and asked her about sedation and trimming. She answered back with some very helpful suggestions.
1. You can use Benadryl.......lots of it.

2. You can wrap them in a blanket.

3. You can do the pig flip.

The pig flip consist of grabbing them by the front legs and picking them up, rolling them up on their bottom and flipping them over. Once they get on their back they stop struggling. We were doing our own version of this but were flipping sideways instead of backwards. She was kind enough to send me pictures and videos of this in action. She must have sensed I was a visual learner. Here is one of the pictures. Note the protective ear wear........and is she really kissing that pig?

I haven't shown these pictures to hubby yet but he will have to be the one doing the pig flip and holding them between his legs. He's the one that wanted these pigs so he has to assume some risk. I guarantee there will be no kissing going on.

Maybe I should give him the beer.......or the Benadryl


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I remember the last time you posted about the pig trimming. Yikes!

I'd be wary of the Benadryl, for the same reason of the beer. I tried once to give my twins Benadryl before we boarded a 3 hour plane trip.
Everyone gushed over how wonderful it would be to have my twin calm and sleeping all the 3 hour trip.....

Wish someone would have told me then that some people are sensitive to Benadryl and react the opposite way, making themn fussy, cranky, hyper and wild!

Step away from the Benadryl.......

On the other hand, the beer wouldn't hurt the pigs. I watched a Dirty Job show where they were feeding the pigs all sorts of food and drink scraps left over from those All-You-Can-Eat Buffets.

And in all that mess there were barrels of beer and liquor bottles. Apparently when beer goes flat or gets old they give it to the pigs and it's healthy for them with all the hops and wheat, etc.

If you decide not to give the pig ber then just drink it yourself. Maybe after enough beers, the screaming and mayhem won't bother you as much.....bwahahah!

I love the idea of the pig flip, though. We do that with our rabbit when I trim her nails. She goes completely limp when she is flipped on her back.

But I bet that pigs still scream when they are flipped....hence the ear protection. I think that lady at the head of the pig isn't kissing the pig, but rather trying, in vain, to protect her ears someway...somehow.....hehehe

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Stephanie said...

I think you should definitely go with the benadryl because if they accidentally get away in the middle of the flip you'll never get them back again! But then again, I'm not exactly an expert on it I just know your pigs.

Danni said...

Ha! Isn't the Internet an amazing place? That's cool you found someone to contact directly. I do recall from your last post about this, though, that your neighbor(s) actually came over because of all the screaming going on. I recommend having a beer or two on hand for him! And I, unlike Twinville, can positively attest to the wondrous effects of Benadryl. I love it. I have horrible allergies and I will take it at night sometimes - I always sleep like a baby on those nights. Mmmmmm.... :-) (But I can't vouch for the effect on pigs...)
I love that picture that lady sent you. We have a pair of ear protective thingys just like that, only Jim uses them with his insanely loud chainsaw. lol
Make sure you have a third person nearby to film and photograph the event - you do have an audience to entertain, you know. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about hoof trimming. Goats are bad enough. The screaming is terrible. And then my husband tells me to hush
How are the biddies?
Mine are doing great.
Thanks for the visit this morning.

goatgirl said...

You guys crack me up! I'm going to give them the double whammy. Pig Flip and Benadryl. That should do the trick. Although the famous Marigold's goatmother told me about a Calf Sling that can, with a pulley, hoist them up off their feet so you can trim to your hearts content. Sounds like a plan.
And my biddies are doing great. They are quite homely with there feathers sticking out all over but are healthy and happy. My Red Star is my favorite followed by the Wyadottes. The Americaunas are pretty but a bit standoffish and at times quite shy.

goatgirl said...

I did mean ...heart's content
and.....their feathers
I am in education and that stuff bugs me:)

and Goldilocks, I may just wait until you get here to trim pig's feet. You can man the camera.

goatgirl said...

pigs' feet

deconstructingVenus said...

wow. thats all i gotta say here. i love the huge yellow ear phones to block out the screaming ha ha ha ha ha! i just trimmed my goat's the other day and managed to take yet another chunk out of my finer. i usually unload myself of almost as much flesh as hoof off of them. *sigh*