Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lessons Learned on the Farm

Michael wanted to take the pigs to the butcher this morning. He decided to load them up last night to make this morning a bit easier. He went to a friend's house and loaded his pig to take it off with ours. This little piggy did just fine. Michael and the boys returned to our farm to load up our 4 pigs. Keep in mind that yesterday was our oldest son's birthday so the first lesson learned from the farm is DO NOT LOAD ANIMALS ON YOUR CHILD"S BIRTHDAY NO MATTER HOW QUICK YOU THINK IT WILL BE!

Michael started working with loading our pigs around 7:30 p.m. I decided about 9:00 p.m. to go ahead a grill the hamburgers because I was sure they would be wrapping things up in the barn. (I didn't go help load animals because I don't like the whole thought of knowing that they only have one more night to live. Plus my mother in law was still here, and I didn't want to be rude. I cooked dinner and it was now 9:30. Michael called from the barn asking me to bring out piggy delights to help motivate them into the trailer. I gathered up a bit of this and that to lure them, but I knew we had a problem. I didn't want to mention this to my husband so I decided to keep my mouth shut unless I had to give the information. Around 10:15, the first little pig's owner called to check on everything. Michael informed him we had just loaded up 2 pigs, but the other 2 pigs were being obstinate. We continued to work and a bit later we saw head lights pulling in our yard. Without being asked Todd, the first little pig's owner and the father of the other boy helping us, came to our rescue. After much work, Todd mentioned that the pigs had already been fed too much and they weren't really interested in the tasty piggy morsels that I kept bringing from the house. Then HE had to go and open up his mouth and ask the dreaded question. "When in the world did you last feed these pigs"? Michael assured him that they had been fed early that morning so they would be ready to load tonight. This was the problem that Michael didn't know about. The kids and I along with my mother in law spent the day in downtown playing tourists. We had a wonderful time and all was great until about 4:00 p.m. when I suddenly remembered nobody had fed the animals. I told Jacob to run feed the pigs so they wouldn't revolt. He obeyed. Farm lesson #2 DO NOT OVERFEED ANY ANIMAL THAT YOU WANT TO LOAD. HUNGRY ANIMALS WILL FOLLOW TREATS MUCH BETTER THAN FULL ANIMALS.

Around 11:00 p.m. we decided to just leave the last 2 pigs in the barn. We would try again in the morning to see if we could load them, and if we couldn't we would just take the ones to the butcher that were on the trailer. We ate our son's birthday dinner around 11:30 last night. We did cut his cake before midnight!!!

We started bright and early this morning. We had used some gates to make a loading ramp. Farm lesson #3 IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, USE PROPER EQUIPMENT WHEN DEALING WITH FARM ANIMALS. IT JUST WORKS BETTER!!!! We spent about an hour this morning working with the pigs. The pigs were hungrier this morning so they were more interested in my bag of pretzels. I made lots of noise with the pretzel bag and started throwing one pretzel at a time to get them to follow me. Farm Lesson #4 PIGS LIKE PRETZELS AND NACHO CHIPS. USE THEM WISELY! We did get the pigs in the trailer FINALLY.

By the time the pigs were loaded, I had spent a considerable amount of time with them luring them to their final destination. Farm Lesson #5 IT IS GOOD TO GET FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY WITH THE ANIMALS RIGHT BEFORE HAULING THEM OFF. YOU ARE SO TIRED OF DEALING WITH THEM THAT YOU ARE READY TO EAT THEM!!! I was at the point of wanting to shoot them myself!!! Farm Lesson #6 FRIENDS THAT WILL COME TO HELP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WITHOUT BEING ASKED ARE PRICELESS. KEEP THEM!!!

grace and peace,



Amy said...

You are funny, Julie....So much to learn from loading pigs....:)

Thanks for saving me some cheesecake...I'll be right over....and you won't have to lure me with pretzels and nacho chips....I'll come willingly.:)

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Those are some mighty important lessons. Thanks for sharing them!

Mountain Mama said...

What a thoughtful farm wife to make sure the animals are fed - fat and sassy. Laughed all the way through your post. Lessons learned. Glad I can learn through you. I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy your freezer full of PORK!

Marci said...

We also found that pig loading builds character. I am currently writing the story of our journey to farm life. It has been in installments on my blog on Fridays. I have not gotten to any of our pig stories yet. We do learn from these things though..... I would keep those friends as well!!!

TnFullQuiver said...

I have really enjoyed reading your journey to the farm stories. They line up so much with our own tales. We even named our first cow Buttercup!!! We also have a dog that looks so much like your Star. Ours is just a puppy though.
Looking forward to reading your pig stories. Maybe we can learn something!
grace and peace,