November 16, 2013

The humble Farmer: Inside the pen or out, pigs present prodigious predicament

Moving a hog calls for wine and a stout rope; butchering one demands common sense and a sharp knife.

By Robert Skoglund

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Anyone who has studied the voluminous literature produced by the great John Gould knows that the easiest way to move a pig is to put a bucket over his head and back him to where you want him to go.

No stranger to moving pigs, my brother facilitated the bucket process by giving them 2 or 3 gallons of homemade wine just before the move. There is more than a bit of science involved, because the pig has to be able to walk – but just barely. As I recall, these pigs could not walk. They were holed up in the far corner of their tiny A-frame shelter, and it was by now pretty dark.

Using his incomparable powers of persuasion, my brother convinced me that his meeting was more important than mine and that I was to crawl on my hands and knees into the dark pig house and get a rope around a pig’s leg so we could pull out the animal and get him up to the barn.

I remember dragging a stout rope behind me as I crawled on my hands and knees into a pitch-black pig house, and I remember suddenly sensing the breath of a wino pig about 6 inches away from my face.

It’s a good thing I’ve more than filled out my allotted space for this week because right about then things started to get bad.

The humble Farmer can be seen on Community Television in and near Portland and visited at his website:

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