Yesterday we tagged and weaned ten piglets. Five Berkshires and five Ossabaws. It was quite the experience.
We employed the same strategy we use when castrating them: we chased them into the hut so they’d be easier to capture. One by one we caught them and carried them out to the trailer where we would tag them and then transport them out to the piglet pasture.
The easiest way to catch a piglet it to grab it by its hind legs. Unless said piglet is completely covered in mud in which case it will likely be too slippery to hold in this fashion. The only option in this situation is to hug the piglet as tightly as you can to keep it from squirming away. You embrace this muddy mess because you know that if you let it go, you’ll have to run around the pen to re-catch it and no one wants to do that. As a result you shirt, your pants, your arms, and even you face will be covered in mud. How do I know this? I just do. And I am sorry there aren’t pictures. I knew things would be messy and left my phone safely stored in the shop. Steve and Ryan got a good laugh out of it. As did I!
Once we tagged everyone we took them up to the piglet pasture and set them free. All of our other piglet groups made the transition from pen to pasture without a problem and we trusted these little guys would do the same. We put them in the pasture right before lunch and by afternoon everyone seemed to be adjusting nicely.
This morning Steve and I headed down to the breeding runs to feed everyone and lo and behold one of the Berks and four of the Ossabaws had escaped from the pasture and returned to their mamas. Not cool, little piglets. Not cool. The steers down at Lundale were due for a big move that took up a good chunk of the afternoon so the piglets got lucky and get to spend one more weekend with their moms. Ryan did take a load of dirt down to fill in the hole from whence they’d escaped and on Monday they will be back out on pasture.
They may be annoying, but I still love them. Piglets are the best.