I set myself the task to tell you the story of each of the animals but I just can’t get motivated to do it. I started writing about Noodle and Penguin but it just isn’t flowing. Instead let me tell you about the babies who are six months old this month. How time flies.
The farm has been ticking along nicely and we are watching the four baby pigs grow up and become individuals. They are a joy to hang out with but sometimes they are a bit naughty. Each weekend we walk them around the farm which gives them some good exercise (me too) and also time to socialise with Gunther. They love these walks, and I get to spend time just watching and interacting with them it such a change from what I do during the week.
Oh if you don’t remember the boys, please indulge me as I explain their uniqueness. They are mostly black however they do have distinguishing marks let us go through them:
- Boss Hog is the biggest of the babies and always has been. He has a large white diamond on his nose and four white socks and a white edge to his tail;
- Spats, has four white socks and a small white spot on his nose and white end to his tail. Spats also has an umbilical hernia that doesn’t seem to bother him yet;
- Ninja, is completely black from head to the toe and has a stub for a tail (the others bit it off when they were babies);
- Babe the runt has grey socks and a small heart spot on his nose and his tail is all black.
Each one of them has a different way to interact with us. I will tell you about them later but now it’s back to the magic of walking the babies.
It’s really cool to hang out with them and just enjoy the beautiful weather we are having at the moment (I’m not so sure winter in Wandering will be as much fun to walk them, it can get down below zero here some mornings). Farmer Dirk and I wander along until we find a tree to sit on and the boys run around until they find the perfect spot to root out some onion grass or they start challenging each other or pig circle work. When they get hot we move to a muddy spot so they can refresh themselves. Then it seems the game is to attempt to get us covered in as much mud possible. If you are standing up they will also try to use you as a scratch post to get the mud right in the hard to reach spots. If you come and visit us don’t wear good clothes, I never stay clean for long on the farm I’m usually covered in mud or something after one of these walks but I really don’t mind it makes me feel like a kid again.
It’s not all roses at Wanderosa Farm there have been some injuries on these walks and it normally involves Babe the smallest pig challenging the biggest pig. I’m not sure what the point of these battles are but I can only guess it to become head pig, supreme ruler of all that you can survey, or something like that.
To put it into perspective Babe weighs maybe 40 kilograms at the moment, Gunther on the other hand is about 200 kilograms. Now Babe obviously hasn’t been to a math’s class but even so, he only comes up to the bottom of G’s shoulder but does that stop him? Nope! He sizes Gunther up, then makes a little sideward dance move, head down with some mouth slapping (I can only assume this is pig smack talk that goes something like this: “Come on Fat boy I’ll take you down, you think you can win big boy”) and then the fight starts. A thwack of their heads is the first stage of the battle sometimes you can hear the clunk (at this point Farmer Dirk and I wince) if its a good shot Babe can be seen flying through the air.
If that’s not enough for Babe he makes a second attempt with more sideward dance moves now the hackles come up on him (remember the movie Razorback) and an added extra is mouth frothing. With this great display of power and strength Gunther just circles around him and I’m sure he is saying “Would you look at this little punk I can’t believe him thinks he can win”. Then it’s another bash together, really it hurts to watch!
The next stage is both get their heads up and they dance around one another with more pig smack talk happening from both of them until Gunther maneuvers himself in the right (or in our opinion wrong) spot. With a whack of Gunther’s head poor Babe comes in contact with the big boys tusks. One side of Gunther his tusk is smaller and doesn’t do much damage however the other side well it can do some damage. Most times this means the fight is over and we get the chance to distract them and march them back to the shed to get medical supplies. All the while Mum and Dad talking about how we can sort this out.
Now don’t get me wrong we don’t just let these fights starts we can been seen attempting a number of diversion tactics while these challenges for supreme pig take place (food shaking, strange noises and walking away loudly are just some that have been tried). Sometimes we win sometimes we don’t, other days they are just happy to hang out together.
To add more excitement on these lovely calm walks the horses if they are nearby like to get involved. They mosey on over and investigate what we are all doing. Once the pigs are spotted a mixture of curiosity and fear washes over their faces. They edge closure until the babies see them and that is when the fun really begins. As the babies run up to the horses who get scared and start to turn so they can kick meanwhile the babies are doing zoomies. A couple of the boys have been kicked so they now know not to get too close. When the boys start to back off the horses become brave again and move closer to the pigs. So the dance goes on until the piglets get bored and run off.
When we are ready to head back we turn towards the farm-house and the boys know what is about to happen they start to run back as they like to get ahead of us so they can spend some time cleaning out Gunther’s pen. Who knew pigs like to house clean but they do. Once house cleaning is finished they are ready to go through the farm gate now we want them to go quickly into their pen. If they aren’t tired they run pass their pen and it’s off to the chook house for some Viking like mayhem. Here it’s like heaven for them as they attempt to eat all the chook feed or poo or both, that is until Farmer Dirk comes to chuck them out. Which is getting a little difficult now the pigs are big and controlling four them is even more difficult as he gets one out the other three are still in their going for it. I’m normally dawdling along so am not much help at all. Once I make an appearance my job is to go and get more food to rattle but it has to be more exciting than what they can find else why you would bother moving? Meanwhile the chickens are going crazy as they watch a marauding horde of hungry beast eat all of their food and wreck their house.
We have learnt from this and now have a little trick up our sleeves Farmer Dirk puts pellets in their pen so when they return from a walk they know that a little snack is waiting for them so we get a three-minute window to close the pen to stop them going into the chicken house. As they get bigger and faster our window of opportunity will get shorter.
After a walk they spend the afternoon napping and we take the opportunity to make lunch, (if I’m lucky a nana nap) de-stress and play with the dogs.
Oh I was going to talk about their personalities now is a good time to write about those now so here goes:
- Boss Hog we thought he would be the leader of the pack (do you call a bunch of pigs a pack, leave me a comment if you know the right term) but really he is a big smooch after a feed he likes to come over and get a belly rub. He has taken to doing unspeakable things to Gunther but I won’t go into that. Let’s just say he is a lover not a hater.
- Spats is the middle child we really didn’t know what his personality was like for quite a while he kept to himself but now he is one of the first to drop in front of you to get his belly rubbed. He doesn’t make waves with the pack and just seems to do his own thing and get along with everybody.
- Ninja is the naughty one he is the first to test things out, if you put them in a new pen he is the first to work out how to get out. He showed the others how to stand up on the garden bed to eat all that is within reach. He has started to challenge Farmer Dirk as “head pig”, this should get more interesting as time goes by; he has challenged Gunther also but seems to understand he can’t win that battle.
- Babe when we first got him he was quite sick and was given some extra attention to get him through it. Being much smaller he was often pushed out-of-the-way around meal times to make sure he got his fair share we would call him over to give him an extra treat or two. He still remembers this so when food is put into the pen he has a look around to see what has been dropped in but will then come over to see if you have something special for him. He also is a smooch with us and is easy to get to drop for a belly rub as long as the food is all gone. As I have said before he is a little pig that wants to be a big pig.
We just love them to bits and are so grateful that they are happy and healthy; they are going to have an appointment with the vet soon to be neutered. I’m sure we won’t be the most favourite people in their life when that happens but it will hopefully stop the challenging behavior and calm down Boss Hogs romance with Gunther.
I hope you enjoyed this post let me know what you think of it in the comments below. If you did like the post then please like subscribe and share. Next I think we will write about the horses. We have three new ones and I would love to share with you how they are going and settling in at Wanderosa farm.