Monday, June 6, 2011

Sausagina

Well, the Feldman Family Farm now has a new occupant- a pig named Sausagina.  As you can tell by the name, she's not a pet, but she is fun to watch.  This is our first pig, and we were totally unprepared for her when she was given to us on Saturday by Mr. Flannagan, the man who runs the local farmer's market.


     When we got home, we knew that the top priority was going to be building a pen for that pig, so Evan and I set to work right away.  We hauled the cattle panels from my movable goat pen to the corner of our pasture, and also brought some 5 1/2 foot posts there.  Bo and LilyAnn dragged over some ten foot posts for the corners, and we set to work.  The panels were originally 16' long, but had been cut in the middle, and then I'd wired back together so that they were about 15 1/2 feet, and hinged, so the pen could be twisted into almost any shape needed.  They had smaller squares (rectangles really) of wire on the bottom, and larger ones toward the top.  The problem was, when I wired them together, I hadn't been careful to put them right- side up, with the smaller openings on the bottom, so three of the four panels had one half with the small openings on the bottom, and the other half with them on top.  Now we un- wired two of them, flipped them over, and wired them back together. 

Next, Evan planted the corner posts.  We were able to use some of the fence posts on our pasture fence for one side of the pen.



Then, we started digging a trench so that we could sink the panels about 1 1/2 feet down so the pig couldn't dig out.


Then, we set one of the jointed panels in the trench and filled it up.  Evan sank a 5 1/2 foot post in the middle (where the joint is) to strengthen it.

We dug another trench along the pasture fence, set the panel in it, and filled it up.  Before filling the trench, we nailed the panel to three of the fence posts for strength, and to hold it steady while we filled the trench.  We repeated the process for the first side on the other two sides of the pen.

When we eventually released Sausagina into her new pen, we were unsure whether it would hold her, as we thought she might be small enough to squeeze out through the squares in the wire.  So we put a collar and rope on her to test it out first.  Well, she was so busy rooting around that she showed no interest in escaping, so we eventually took the collar off- and had to catch her twice the next day.  Once in the barn as she gulped dogfood, and then rooted up the stanchion area, and once a quarter of a mile away on our neighbor's property about 150 yards from the pond my grandfather's pigs used to wallow in when they escaped.  So, to curb her escaping propensities, Evan and I attached some much smaller wire fencing around the bottom 12" of the pen, and then spent the rest of the day in a fine sense of security that whatever happened, the pig was securely imprisoned in her pen.

That lasted till this morning.  So now the little rascal has figured out how to jump over the small wire, and through the big wire, and so gain her freedom.  After all, the dirt is always blacker on the other side of the fence!
So we came up with a desperate plan- tether the pig in her pen until she's too big to squeeze, dig, jump, climb, or otherwise spirit herself out of there!



1 comment:

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