Fighting Gilt

Today was moving pigs day. It didn’t go particularly well.

Most pigs are exactly where we started. Some aren’t. Some will be back where they started by morning. Maybe I’ll be hitting a 10% success rate… in my dreams. Normally, it goes like clockwork.

I now use this really smart elec boar netting from Arthur John’s – it’s made by Gallagher. A new 50m length arrived this afternoon. The video above gives some idea of where it might be now.

All jokes apart, it’s been a long day.

I did manage to get 4 young gilts in with Edith (Berkie sow), Limpy (small sow) & 2 of Limpy’s gilts. This foursome is well-established & companiable. One of the new gilts is one of Limpy’s too. There was mayhem. The largest of the new young gilts gave everyone a wide berth, very sensibly. The others picked fights. Limpy – on her three good legs – put up a heck of a fight and dominated her aggressor easily. Edith simply threatened with her bulk and the others backed off. The youngsters really went for it.

The interesting part of this tale is this: the dog, Macsen, stepped in to the fray. He split them apart and threatened both parties in each case – no barking or growling just threatened. It was fascinating to watch. Apart from very minor scratches and a few damaged egos, no one was hurt. The dog was plenty quick enough to avoid any pigs’ teeth and they certainly respected him as the greater adversary.

This happened a few times so it was not chance.

Pigs have a pecking order – a herd runs with a matriachal system – and fighting reestablishes any changes to order. Pigs can fight to the death.

I am expecting that the newcomers will be accepted over the next few days and will be mooching about and sleeping together soone enough.

Famous last words.

 

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