Change of Plans

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I’m not happy with these four right now.

Yesterday it was time for them to go to the processor. The first step, of course, is loading them onto the trailer. They were having none of it.

It’s common for there to be one who balks, but this time all four flat refused. I’d been reducing their rations to motivate them to follow me onto the trailer, but however hungry they were, they weren’t hungry enough to get onboard.

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They were willing to reach into the trailer and eat, but when I slid the trough further in they just looked at it and squealed. All day.

I can’t blame them of course. Even though they have no reason to fear the trailer, it must make them uncomfortable.

So I cancelled our appointment and rescheduled for next week. I’ll keep trying to feed them on the trailer and hopefully in a few days they’ll be waiting for me in it when I show up with their food.

 

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28 comments on “Change of Plans

  1. gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

    I’ve heard that (like elephants) pigs are very intelligent.

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    • Bill says:

      Pigs do have relatively advanced cognitive abilities, causing them to be perceived as intelligent. Sometimes ours do things to make me question how intelligent they are, but in this case not getting on the trailer was a good move.

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  2. avwalters says:

    Maybe some flowers or greenery in the trailer? It looks bleak compared to out in the fields.

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  3. shoreacres says:

    Hmmm… Instead of pigging out, your pigs are staying out. Very interesting. That first photo suggests there might have been discussions, and a common resolve.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We are very blessed to have a mobile slaughter man who comes here to our place when the time comes for pig processing. The pigs still don’t want to cooperate at times, though. Good luck getting them in.

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  5. We bed our trailer and put the food in there, if they want snuggly place to sleep and some food to go along with it they have to get in the trailer. Although we start this a week ahead of time since we have to make our abattoir appointment months in advance. Pretty soon they are liking their new mobile home and it’s old hat by the time they need to go for the last ride. We learned the hard way it has to be their idea to get in the trailer. The joy of pigs, hilarious farm animals, equally delicious and frustrating.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bill says:

      I intended to start a couple of days earlier, but didn’t get to moving and setting up the trailer. Then I tried to rush them and that made them more nervous. Today 3 of the 4 gladly came in the trailer to eat, no problem. Number 4 was reluctant but I expect by tomorrow he’ll be going in freely too. It was a mistake for me not to start sooner. Lesson learned.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a nightmare – I always dread this happening, but so far, so good. We load the night before, with feed and bedding – and it’s always worked, though as you say, one pig can sometimes be reluctant. Like Matron we have to book months in advance, so cancelling and rebooking is not an option – no pressure or anything. Hope Plan B works out.

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    • Bill says:

      Today 3 of the 4 practically raced each other onto the trailer. They’re fine with it now. Number 4 is still spooked by it but I don’t think he’ll stand at the door watching the other 3 eat much longer. Luckily they can take them next week and we have enough feed to last till then. I hadn’t considered loading them up the night before. Good idea. I think I’ll do that too, just to take the pressure off on the day of the appointment. By then the pigs should be perfectly comfortable with being on the trailer.

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  7. Laura says:

    I know the feeling. We took our lamb Tuesday morning and he was less than enthused. I’m thinking I should work on halter training next year.

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    • Bill says:

      Loading goats is a lot less trouble for us because even if they should hesitate (and they aren’t usually as stubborn as pigs) I can lift them. But in a shoving contest with these 400 pound pigs, the pigs win. 🙂

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  8. Loading pigs … can ruin the best of days and plans! I have felt your pain. 😉

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    • Bill says:

      A friend of mine had one that just totally refused to load this year. He said the pig just quit eating rather than get on the trailer and lost 30 pounds in a week. Finally he gave up left it. He’s going to have a pig roast at Christmas. We have an especially stubborn one too but I really need to get him off the pasture so I can turn the goats into it (and I’m ready to stop buying pig feed). Hopefully we’ll pull it off next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. EllaDee says:

    Looks like the pigs were quite happy right where they were… they’ve had a good life.

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  10. Oh this made me smile with bad memories. I raised a pig once. Spent 5 hours trying to get him loaded. The abattoir was almost closed by the time we got him there. Of course we were total novices. It’s good to know professionals even have trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I had that happen once too. It took hours to coax that last one onto the trailer and I had to call and ask them to stay open a little bit later for me. They were gracious about it thankfully. But I’ve never had a situation where NONE of them would board. Luckily we were able to reschedule and today 3 of the 4 were happy to come in. I’m hoping the stubborn one will lose his fear over the next few days. One thing about hogs like this–you can’t force them on if they don’t want to go!

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  11. BeeHappee says:

    That stubborness, make me love them even more. 🙂
    Did you see that story of a woman giving pigsd water?:
    http://www.newser.com/story/216852/woman-could-go-to-prison-for-giving-thirsty-pigs-water.html
    Maybe that makes you want to get back to practicing law…:)

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