The problem with potbelly piglets.
Would anyone like to hear me rant, complain, and throw a fit about my potbelly piglets?
I’m quite positive that 100% of the problem is me. This is my first year owning potbelly pigs and I am not over the hump yet as far as my education is concerned on this subject matter. If you are more knowledgeable than me (this would be just about anyone- lol) and have some helpful hints please feel free email me. I am oh so teachable and would love some hints on how to “house break” and “litter box train” and “properly socialize” my potbelly piglets.
With my lack of knowledge being acknowledged, please feel free to read on about all my disastrous exploits with these tiny beasts.
If you have ever dreamed about owning your very own potbelly piglet, of litter-box training it, of loving it and cuddling with it on your couch as you watch Rehab Addict, I am going to crush all your hopes and dreams. I am here to tell you it isn’t gonna happen. First, the mama-pig will try to eat you and then her babies will all run away from home.
Forget about it.
It ain’t gonna happen.
They will ruin your life.
I have been chasing, trapping, capturing and recapturing baby piglets for 2 years. OK, maybe it’s only be 3 weeks but it feels like 2 years.
If you think I am in any way exaggerating or making this up just ask DH or my 4 children or my neighbor, or anyone who has been in the Pawnshop or in my presence in the last month. All I do is chase pigs around and figure out how to catch them and complain about it. Nothing else.
Stupid piglets are ruining my life.
Do you see the little stinkers? The ones that should be in the fenced in area with their mama? The ones gallivanting through the cow pasture? Yup, I hate ’em.
- They are too small to keep penned.
- Electric fencing does not phase them.
- They are so tiny they can fit through any fence, hole, gap or crevice that leads to freedom.
- They need waterproof fencing.
- I don’t have waterproof fencing.
- There is not a fence, cage or building on my farm that can contain them.
- They are as fast as lightning.
- They are impossible to grab because they are the size of a cantaloupe and just as round.
- Since nothing can hold them, they are rooting up and destroying all our fields.
- Every time I catch them and get them penned up they miraculously escape AGAIN!
- I am renaming them Houdini #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 & #9
- Add to all this fun that having pigs run wild around your farm is pretty much against the law.
- I hate them.
If you think goats are hard to keep in try keeping in 9 potbelly piglets.
I want to sell them. I even have people who want to buy them. All I can say is,
“If you can catch one – you can have it.”
I can’t sell them, give them away or eat them if I can’t catch them. Grumble.
Tactics I’ve Tried:
- Chasing them around is ridiculous and pointless. They can run straight through any fence and through the woods at lightning speed. I can’t fit through any fences and I don’t run unless forced; especially not through the woods. I don’t want to sprain my ankle again.
- Fishing nets. If they all happen to be in a corner and not paying attention I may be lucky enough to get one or two with a huge fishing net while the other 7 run for the next county.
- Cookies. This has been by far the most successful plan. We put cookies in a caged in area (cheap dollar store cookies). We hide in the loft of the cow barn where we have a perfect view of the trap. When the little piggies go for the bait we run in and close the trap door.
- Bribery. Yes, I have offered to pay my children $10 for each pig they catch and bring into successful confinement.
- Bedtime. Sometimes (emphasis on sometimes) they go into their hutch at night (especially on cold or rainy nights). If we are lucky we can trap a few in the hutch before they all make a run for the hills.
- 22 Rifle. Yup. This works, although it didn’t work out very well for the piglet. We had a nice dinner and he’s no longer running free breaking the “Free-Range Pigs” laws.
- Luck. Dumb luck has been in my favor several times.
Since they are running wild (which is illegal) and can’t be caught (I’ve tried everything) I am left with 2 choices:
- Shoot them with a tranquilizer gun
- Shoot them with a 22
Since I don’t have a tranquilizer gun, I am left with death by 22. Since I hate them right now, I really don’t care and am happy to blow their brains out… And eat them.
- I like pork.
- Suckling pig is some of the best meat you’ll ever eat.
- They could not possibly be any healthier. They are completely free-range, completely organic, completely pastured (Ha), completely non-GMO, No Feed, No hormones, No corn, No antibiotics, No medications, Nothing but milk and grubs. An animal this healthy will be so healthy for our family to consume.
Since we are law-abiding citizens I knew what had to be done – Catch them – pronto, or shoot them.
I cried and begged and pleaded with DH to give me another day to catch them (Again) before he shot them all. He agreed and I had a big plan of attack for the next day. I scheduled friends to come over and help.
We had traps. We had fishing nets. We had casting nets. We had cookies. We were launching an all-out war on piggies.
I had 24 hours to get my obnoxious, free-range piglets contained before DH turned them all into BBQ.
They must have heard him, because that night when I went to set out a few live traps (the kind we use to catch raccoons and opossums) to catch some piglets they were all tucked in bed in their hutch like good, little angels. I screwed a board on the front of the hutch & they were all contained. Every single one of them.
Talk about luck. Thank you Lord. Now, DH doesn’t have to shoot them all. I have them safely contained in a little house (for now).
The good news is I’ve sold a couple, given a couple to friends and am keeping a couple. I’m down to 4 pigs. I am keeping 2 through the winter because I just love having pigs. The other 2 I am planning to grow to about 40 pounds and roast whole.
I know half of you want to come over to my house for the pig roast and the other half of you are appalled that I would consider eating them. Sorry if you are in the second group. Around here, our animals are a joy, we love them, they live a good life, but many of them are here to provide our family with healthy food. Eating the animals we raise is just part of the life we have chosen.