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So we have a friend who is currently in need of placing her 4 pigs due to some unforeseen circumstances. Because we have been helping her with her well and she is currently using our 450 gallon tank, we were able to make a deal on taking over the care of her pigs.

We first agreed to take 2 of the 4 pigs, but she couldn’t find the remaining 2 a home, so we ended up with all 4 pigs. (Yeah!)

Have you ever tried to round up a real live pig (these I think would be closer to hogs)?  Well, suffice it to say that corralling 4 pigs into the horse trailer was probably quite comical to watch.  We had 5 adults and 2 pre-teens helping (while confining the 6 other children and 4 dogs that were in the house for their safety).  

There was lots of chasing and yelling and even riding the pigs all over our friends property, all while building makeshift corrals out of pallets. One of our sons was taken for a ride as a pig ran between his legs and he was tossed on its back!  We had to build “traps” and bribe the pigs with food, all trying to get them into the trailer. It’s hard to describe the feeling of panic you get when a 200-pound pig comes running at full speed, grunting and squealing directly towards you!

After close to 3 hours, we were only able to get 3 out of the 4 pigs into the trailer to transport home because the captured pigs kept escaping everytime we tried to get the last one in the trailer.

Due to our previous massive failures at raising chickens, we had our large coop and fenced in yard for the pigs to spend their days getting fat. I can tell you right now this only looked good on paper and to be honest, on paper it looked a bit sketchy. Pigs are destructive, really destructive.

Not long after arriving at their new home the mayhem started. The fence was the first thing the pigs attacked looking for any weaknesses (think Jurassic Park when the raptors “show extreme intelligence, even problem-solving intelligence.”  “They never attack the same place twice. They were testing the fences for weaknesses, systematically. They remember.”)

One day, our 4-year-old came running into the house hysterical because she could “see the pigs noses!”  On further investigation, we discovered that it had only taken them a day of checking for weaknesses to start digging under a section of fence that was the most shallow to try and escape.  We could literally see the snouts on our side of the fence as they tried to dig to freedom. Luckily, when I had installed the fences I had buried it about 8 inches into the ground so we had time to discover their operation before a full breech could be made. We filled the hole in the best we could and I added in a 6 ft section of an old green telephone pole covered with chunks of concrete we had pulled from the basement. “See Busting up the Basement”

We soon learned that this was a temporary fix.  I don’t really know how they could manage this, but the pigs continued trying to get free and were able to pull the huge blocks of concrete and rocks into the pen with them, leaving the fence once again exposed.  Some of these pieces were at least 30-40 lbs! We put our small laborers to work and made it a daily chore for them to add more concrete to the fence hole. Nothing was safe with them, we also had to anchor down their water tank because they would constantly flip it over.

Once the large pole was in place, it seemed to discourage the pigs from working on the fence and they moved their focus to digging out the posts holding up the wall with the door to the coop. Nothing like coming out to feed the pigs opening the door and having the post fall almost a foot into the hole with no way to relock the door. Again more wood, concrete and filling in holes to repair the damage the pigs caused just to keep them (and our sanity) safe.

What did we get ourselves into?