Cute becomes nuisance
As the pigs approached an adult size, they made shorter and shorter work of their marked laneway. I was having to move them every day, and the grind of it was wearing me down.
The enclosure was made up of an electric fence surrounded by a sheep mesh (4mm gauge steel) fence. To get to the sheep mesh they'd have to get zapped, and they couldn't just duck under the electric fence and take one zap because the sheep mesh would hold them up.
But enough's enough, they decided, and they took the zap and crashed through. I went out to feed the cows and called them, and the pigs came running up grunting excitedly.
I got their feed and led them back to their yard. I reset the fences, checked the power, and 10 minutes later they'd busted out again.
There's some 12 rows between the olive trees. They had dug over 6 and a half. Didn't look like they would finish the job this year. Time for a fundamental change.
So I built a large fenced area using the same strategy of mesh and electric fence down in the hay paddock. Its about 300 square metres. It uses the fully powered electric fence, not the lesser solar fence, and I set up double rows of electric line. All we had to do then was lead them down there.
Two hours later we had three in there, and the fourth one was back in their original compound. We gave up for the day with a view to trying again tomorrow.
And so we did. For two and a half hours I chased that bloody pig around and around the middle olive paddock. All I needed her to do was run through a gate then downhill to the other pigs, but she would not go through the gate. This was, of course, after first trying to lead her through with bribes.
There were moments of bizarre humor….when she stopped running and lay down and wallowed in the mud, then got up and madly took off again.
And she also ran over and tried to socialize with the cows. At first they were curious and we had to startling image of a pig and cow sniffing noses. But they weren't interested, and she kept persisting. Our oldest cow, the boss, turned her back on the pig a full 180 degrees, and then launched a serious kick that connected with a massive "Slap!" So off she went again.
Finally, I gave up. I couldn't run anymore, with an inch of mud welded to my boots I'd run out of puff.
"Let's leave her to settle, and do something else" I said. My wife went off to feed the geese, and I went back to do something near the house. Within 30 seconds the pig came waltzing through the gate, heard the other pigs, ran down to where they were. I ran as fast as I could, got there just in time to let her in, and she joyfully re-united with the others.
My wife came back, I didn't say anything, just pointed. She didn't say anything either.
After awhile we laughed about it. But not just then.
I've now resown the turned rows, and we've had rain, and they are starting to look good. Let's hope its worked!