Big pig fun and games (540)

by Max Akroyd

The pressure’s on: when you have ten minutes to reconfigure the pigs’ electric enclosure before they finish their breakfast.  

The presence of armpit-deep mud made this task like a post-industrial version of “It’s a Knockout!”. Fortunately my wife was on hand to disentangle the strands of electric wire as I re-routed the posts around a virgin area of meadow. 

It was a veritable gloop-fest, and all the time we were listening out nervously for the pigs finishing slurping their porridge and noticing that they were just a snout’s length away from freedom… but, no doubt helped along by me needlessly snapping at Emma, the job got done and the pigs were released to romp in their new pasture… 

Except, they didn’t. I once had a goldfish which lived in a little bowl for the first years of his long life. Then my Dad decided to dig a large fishpond in the garden. The day came for my goldfish to be liberated from the confines of his bowl and deposited into the pond. In an act which provided me with a tedious analogy to offer up on all sorts of occasions afterwards, he proceeded to swim around in the small circles of his bowl, despite the possibilities provided by his new pond. 

So it is with pigs too. They refused to cross the line which had existed previously and graze the new area. Further, in a disappointing revelation of gender difference, the sow persisted by poking and prodding at the boundary between new and old and eventually accessed pastures new. 

Girl power...

The boar, on the other hand, promptly gave up and came over to me to whinge about the change in his circumstances… 

An illustration of pig power though. That, to the left of this photo, was then: 

22 October 2009

This is the same area now. 


Bouyed-up by the success of Operation Expand Pasture, I proceeded to the field to lay down some more mulch. The heavy rain came and dampened my enthusiasm pretty soon, though… 


The rain stuck around most of the afternoon, getting a bit carried away with itself at times. Just before dusk it went away and left a slightly apocalyptic sunset in its wake.

It's the apocalypse, look busy!