Yesterday was butcher day for our three pigs. We co-own them with a friend who fed and watered them every day for us since they were about 16 weeks old. We bought them and kept them on our tiny farm until they started getting noisy at feeding times. We didn’t want to disturb our neighbors so our sweet friend Colette cared for them up until yesterday. Yesterday I borrowed my dads trailer and Colette and I attached boards to the top, front and sides of the trailer to form a wind break in this frigid weather. We stuffed a bale of hay in the trailer and put some fermented grains and leftover raw milk in a bucket in the trailer and backed it up to their pen. After two hours of coaxing and cajoling, we were half frozen and feeling defeated. The biggest pig would step her front two feet in the trailer and then back out. Or worse, she would have three feet in and when the second biggest pig started to follow her, she would blast backwards out of the trailer. We were growing frustrated when finally they both went in and I slammed the doors of the trailer shut. I looked back at Priscilla and granted her a reprieve: a 24 hour reprieve.
The butcher shop had called and told us that since the roads were so bad from the snow and ice, if we couldn’t make it by 2:00 Sunday, we could come Monday.
When Priscilla realized that she was the only pig left in the pen, she began to panic. She ran in circles inside the pen and began squealing. It was heartbreaking to see her panic until you remembered that her partners were going to be butchered!
Fast forward to 8:00 am Monday morning. Priscilla has not eaten in 24 hours. Her food is in a bucket with some warm, fresh milk. We have closed the door to her shelter. The trailer has cozy hay piled inside. The wind is whipping and the temperature is precariously near frostbite danger. Any idiot would race into that trailer! Not Priscilla. Colette called and hand fed and lured her front two feet inside the trailer….and that’s as far as she would go.
Colette decides that she needs something yummy and stinky to lure her with and runs inside the house to find something. And that’s why we fed our pig smoked salmon for her last meal.