Thought I would let you know what a “pig rodeo” at the Stokesberrys’ looks like.  Yesterday afternoon it started with Jerry reconfiguring the fencing in the butcher hog field/forest.  When Jon got back from the pastures, he and Jerry worked on convincing/motivating/tempting the hogs to follow the fence into the trailer.  Jon had to finish the late chores and go home, so Janelle took over as assistant.  Now it was getting serious.

  The pigs were to leave the farm that night – no exceptions.  Once she realized how tired Jerry was getting (it had already been about 1 1/2 hours of the rodeo) and the poking with sticks was not moving them quick enough, she decided to step things up a notch.  You see, she learned along time ago that if a pig doesn’t go where you want within the first fifteen minutes or so you only have one choice: get them so tired that they will walk right to the place you want them to go.  The real trick is not wearing yourself out, so you can keep them moving.  I might add these pigs were an extremely energized group, and it didn’t help considering they accidentally got fed in the morning.  Sometimes when you offer them feed in the trailer, or close to it, and they are hungry it works like a charm.  So, not hungry, energetic pigs, and the biggest challenge – the forest.

Now keep in mind, our forest has nice big fir trees that we have had the pleasure to watch grow in the 35 years that  we have been caring for our land, but that’s not all.  There is also the mid-level of growth.  The pigs have cleared most of the understory of salal, oregon grape, and fern.  It’s the hazel nuts and ocean spray that are cumbersome when trying to corral pigs.  They bow over and are at about waist and sometimes knee level, so you are constantly  ducking or stepping over branches.  The pigs with their awesome weight just push right past them.

So Janelle, realizing that things were getting serious starts whopping and hollering.  Shouting, “Hey PIG!  Let’s GO!”, as she crawls, and leaps over and around branches.   After about another hour, she realizes that they were more exhausted than the pigs, and the pigs were not going to walk into the trailer.  Being the advanced species that we are, it was determined that the pigs really needed to be at their destination at 7:30 in the morning, so if we got up at 5:00, we could have them loaded and ready to go with plenty of time to get them there.  That’s what we did.  With one exception, we took 3 other pigs that walked right into the trailer.

Oh, so you are thinking the pigs won.  Not exactly.  We will feed them in or almost in the trailer this week, and next week they will load like a charm.   Teaching from the farm:  Never give up, just think and you will always accomplish what you set out to do – perhaps just later than you originally thought.

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Jerry and Janelle Stokesberry - Owners
Jerry and Janelle Stokesberry   Owners

Environmentally friendly farming of chicken and turkey.