The Fatties’ Bedroom

We still have two pigs on the farm.  Rather, I should say we have two hogs on the farm.  Fatty and Fattie are living up to their names these days.

I usually wake them up when I go to feed them in the mornings.  They huddle together in their shed at night–to keep warm and because they like sleeping that way. Many mornings I’ve tried to sneak up on them and get a picture, but before I can get close enough they hear me and spring up, ready for their breakfast.  This is the best I’ve been able to do.

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When they were younger they liked burying themselves in the hay.  Nowadays when I put hay in the stall for them they just root it out of the way.  It seems they prefer burrowing into the dirt now.

Here’s a shot of the spot where they sleep.  Notice anything unusual about it?

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When nature calls, goats, chickens, horses and probably most other animals just relieve themselves where ever they happen to be standing.  We have to constantly layer the bedding in the goat stalls and chicken coops for that reason.  But not pigs. They wallow in dirt and mud to coat their skin in order to protect and cool it, but they’re actually clean creatures. They won’t poo where they sleep.

Of course that’s just one of many things that make the industrial  practice of confining hogs in cages so cruel. Not only are they unable to make a burrow and snuggle up with a buddy, but their little cage is both their bedroom and their bathroom.

Yesterday morning when I went out to feed them, the fatties were already awake.  They were wrestling and seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely.

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26 comments on “The Fatties’ Bedroom

  1. BeeHappee says:

    Nice piggie story. 🙂 I am spending a week at a corporate meeting with 75 people in a crowded room without a view out the window –they close the blinds so nobody gets distracted…. so it is depressing and makes me think of those caged animals spending their whole lives like that, no dirt to feel, no sun to see, no rain to enjoy…. if people do that to themselves no wonder they do that to animals….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bill says:

      Ouch Bee. Sorry you’re stuck in such soul-sucking quarters.

      But just imagine how much worse it would be if your cage was seven foot long and 22 inches wide, and you had to spend your whole adult life in it, during which you gave birth 8 times. Sometimes, even though I shouldn’t, I wonder if certain food industry executives don’t deserve a little taste of that kind of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, pigs are definitely social animals except when it comes to feeding time. Then it’s everyone for them selves. When I grew up every pig yard had what we called a waller hole. It was a dirt area that was wet with standing water and mud. The farmers kept it wet by running water in the waller hole every day during the summer. The pigs would roll and lay in the waller hole a large part of the day. The whole purpose of the waller hole was to keep the pigs from getting over heated during the hot summer days. Pigs do have sweat glands but not enough to keep them cool in hot weather. So it would seem that pigs are a dirty animal because they are always wallowing in mud but as you have said they are indeed quite a clean animal and will not use their sleeping area as a bathroom area. I’ve heard it said that a society will become like how they treat their animals. There seems to be bit of truth in that.

    Have a great pig waking up day.

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    • Bill says:

      Like many people, you have memories of animal husbandry. What we now have instead are factories, designed to convert feed to meat as cheaply and quickly as possible. I can’t imagine how much damage it must do to a person’s soul to work in a place like that.

      We make wallows for our pigs in the summer too. Sometimes they prefer to make their own by tipping over the water trough and rooting out hole in the mud. Resourceful and sometimes aggravating they are.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Terminology alert… At what point does (or what determines that) a pig become a hog?
    I recall reading somewhere that people are/or were called “long pig” in certain areas of the world…

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    • Bill says:

      Hmm. I’m not sure what the technically correct answer is. I call them pigs until they’re big enough to be called hogs. That’s subjective and probably not correct.

      Like

  4. That’s interesting that they move the hay away. When it was hot in the summer, my pigs pushed the bedding away so they could lie on the concrete floor underneath – and they even took to spilling their water bucket to make the concrete damp. Very clever – and messy – but cool. And yes, that’s true about having a different place to pee and poop. Though I’m learning that some pigs are more fanatical about this than others.

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    • Bill says:

      When they were younger they would burrow into the hay. It was funny to see them almost completely covered in hay. But now they don’t want any hay. They push it aside so they can sleep on the ground.

      Ours love to push over their water trough. Gets me mad at them sometimes. I’ve threatened to stop giving them water, but it’s had on effect on them.

      Ours are careful where they poop, but not so much where they pee. I’ve seen them standing in the water trough, drinking out of one end while relieving themselves out of the other (into their drinking water). But they always go #2 somewhere away from where they sleep, and usually in the same spot.

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      • Last season’s pigs did that pee thing while drinking too – I was completely non-plussed till I read up on it, and it’s apparently fairly common. One of those weird adaptations you have to wonder about.

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  5. avwalters says:

    If only all pigs were so lucky.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      It doesn’t seem to much to ask, that in exchange for their lives and flesh, we allow them to first live a comfortable natural life.

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      • avwalters says:

        Not too much to ask. But then, look at the standard American life, the stress, the bad food, the tedious jobs devoid of meaning. Maybe Americans are just imposing on livestock the lives they’ve accepted/crated for themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

    • nebraskadave says:

      I’m reading a book written by Michael Talbot, a singer and guitar player of the eighties. The book is about the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He has been sainted by the Catholic church as a the Saint that blessed animals. In this book a quote was made by one of his biographers and states, “a society will become like how they treat their animals.” I thought that was pretty profound. I spent many hours in a small cubicle at work which is not close to the confined life of the agribusiness animals lives but in comparison similar.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. bobraxton says:

    highly intelligent

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  7. So Bill, I had no idea I was supposed to be looking for pig poop in the photo of their sleeping area. I swear, I stared at the photo for three minutes looking for something unusual. I didn’t want to cheat. Teach me to be ethical. 🙂 –Curt

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    • Bill says:

      LOL. Ok, good point. My question presumed that the reader would expect to see pig poo in their sleeping area. Of course there would be no reason a person unaccustomed to the poor hygiene practices of other farm animals would expect that.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. EllaDee says:

    If only we were all so sensible about looking after our various messes…

    Like

  9. We love keeping pigs. One year, before we started pasture raising, my husband built a trough for them along one wall of their large pen. They used if for their latrine. Never were we able to use it as it was intended, thankfully it was exactly the width of a barn shovel.

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    • Bill says:

      We get piglets in the spring and keep them in a barn stall until they’re tame enough to go out to pasture. When they’re in the stall they poop along the edge of the walls. On the one hand that makes it easier to clean the stalls, but I like the idea of having an easily cleaned latrine for them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. shoreacres says:

    I’m always happy to hear about your pigs, but tonight I have to bring along a little tidbit about the goats. You know what’s trending on Twitter? The hashtag #ReplaceAMovieTitleWith Goat”.

    Skimming the entries really was funny. Some of the entries:

    Planet of the Goats
    Goatbusters
    No Country for Goatmen
    The Devil Wears Goat
    The Silence of the Goats
    The Goatfather
    The Good, the Bad, and the Goat

    OK. I’ll stop. But some of the photoshops are great. I’m easily amused, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. FeyGirl says:

    Wonderful!! I love how you raise the topic of industrial farming, too… These are truly, VERY intelligent creatures — and incredibly clean. Love your pigs! 🙂

    Like

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