Wiener Wrangling

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of France  , Midi-Pyrénées,
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finally the day that had been talked about all week was here.  One little (not so little at +100lbs) wiener pig was in the sow park and needed to be moved to be with his buddies.  He was only there due to a previous escape and was starting to get picked on by Shaft (the big black breeding boar).  Time to get him out before he gets any bigger and more difficult. 

Now catching a pig is not an easy task.  They are fast and strong and generally deafen you with their squeals.  Also, these pigs are kept ‘free-range’ in huge forest parks, so there are endless areas for them to run resulting in obstacles for us (bogs, fallen trees, sow houses, etc.).

First thought was if we feed, he would be occupied with eating and Justin could sneak up and tie a rope around his leg.  Then we've would have him and it would just be a matter of holding on and waiting for him to calm down (i.e. get tired of struggling).  Then he could be loaded into the trailer and taken to the wiener park. 

But the little guy wriggled free of Justin’s hold and was very weary of people.  So the chase was on!  6 of us in the park hopping over stumps and dodging trees in and around the hilly terrain trying to tire out the little piggy.  Run, run, as fast as you can - wait, wrong story.  So he huffed and he pu…never mind. 

We chased and chased this little pig until his running slowed so much that we could catch him.  After only 5-10 minutes Paul was able to grab onto his back legs to which the pig basically fell down.  Then 4 guys grabbed 4 legs and carried him off to the trailer. 
He was quite hesitant about joining his buddies and initially wouldn’t get out of the trailer without some serious coaxing.  Even then, he just laid down for a rest and didn’t bother with the other pigs at all.  The next morning though, he was up and ready for food with all the rest of them - snorting and jostling each other to see who could get the most. 

May not sound like the nicest way to catch a pig, but that’s what happens when they’re kept in large open areas.  If he’d been in a tiny pen it would have been easy to get him out, but then he would be living in a tiny pen. 

But enough about mistreatment of animals, I’m more interested in mistreatment of their handlers!  I went down to the barn to let the chickens out and check for eggs that morning.  Pretty routine.  But when walking though the barn, the rooster flew at me with his claws out!  Luckily, he’s a bad shot and only caught my hand.  But then  when I was reaching down for some eggs, he came at me again!  This time I got a big scratch across my chest.  From now on I’m carrying a rather large ‘rooster bat’ with me through the barn. Just try to get the best of me…...
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