Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Piggy Predicament

While some may refer to our swine operation as a factory farm we do not have factory hours. While most people either enjoy a half day of work or no work at all on Saturdays, it's just another day to a farmer. What began as a day of laying irrigation pipe and doing pig chores became a frantic relay race with the clock ticking.

First, three pieces of irrigation pipe had been damaged. Of course, the guys don't find this out until they do a test run and discover some leaks. So, they have to take practically the whole thing apart, fetch new pipes, and put the whole thing back together again. This isn't a garden hose either, folks. We are talking about six-inch aluminum piping that literally runs over the hill and through the buck-brush all the way across the field. It's some serious chizz to take this thing apart and put it back together. So, what started as a be-done-by-two job ended up lasting until after four o'clock.

Here's where I come in:

There I was, minding my own business, preparing supper. Frozen burger paddies in one hand and a bag of charcoal in the other when my husband, Aaron, bursts through the door. He was in such a hurry that I don't even thing he put the truck in park before he leaped out. It was a tuck and roll situation.

What're you doing? What do you have going on?
It's after five, Aaron. I'm getting ready to fix supper.
What? Supper? No, we don't have time for that. Throw some snacks at the kids and lets go.
I gotta pig emergency and I need help. Let's go. Have they ate?
The patties are still frozen in my hand. So, no. No one has ate.
Right. Throw some snacks at the kids and lets go.
I got that part. Calm down.

You can imagine how well the conversation went after that. So, instead of munching down some tasty grill burgars with asperagus and potatoes, the children had cold-cut sandwiches and I went without. The charcoal returned to the basement, feeling abandoned, and the frozen patties in my hand returned to their home in the freezer, feeling cold. Away we flew to the land beyond with shining white tin and lush flowing fields green (and brown, we really need some rain). Into the pigs we go.

At this point I still have no idea what the emergency is or even what I am supposed to be doing. I just slip into my fancy rubber boots and slide on my fashionable blue coveralls and hope for the best. Turns out that a feed auger in the barn needed to be repaired. So our job was to first manuver pigs around to get as many as we could out of the pin that the feed motor was in. Armed with pretty plastic sort boards we begin the hearding process. I have a huge bruise on my knee as a result of a 200 pound pig that decided he did not want to go the same direction as everyone else. Oh, well. No worse for wear. The second job requires Aaron to teader on a plastic bucket while he fights with some bolts and a heavy motor. My job during this is to make sure the remaining pigs in the pin do not chew on Aaron or his tools. Have I mentioned we are on slatted floors? That means anything you happen to drop is forever Aaron's pliers and his previous pliers and several bolts. I think there might be a cell phone down there too. Well, after everthing is replaced (luckily his brother showed up just in time to help hold the motor and what-nots) the pigs had feed again and Aaron could finally calm down.

All-in-all it was a good time...well, sort of but not really. The point is the pigs come first and we gave up our supper time to ensure the pigs got their supper time.

Farmers care about their livestock and that's the truth!


  1. I'm glad you managed to get the feed auger fixed. Our well has gone out a few times, and we make sure we get the water for our cows taken care of before we get water for ourselves. The animals definitely come first!

    1. Thanks for the comment Marybeth. I love the great cow pics on your google+ page. It's good to see farmers out there putting the animals first.