June 29th was the big day. Our pigs had an appointment at Yoder Brothers. We got up early and went to my sister’s house to load the pigs for the long drive to Paris, TN. “It will be easy” I said, and it was at first. Michael and Greg got the trailer hooked up, backed down to the pasture, and opened it up with no problems at all.
Once the electric fence was cut our task became a bit less easy. See, pigs are very intelligent. Even though the fence was cut and we were walking in and out of the opening, the pigs remember how we always came in and out of the enclosure. They also remember how each time they tried to leave their enclosure that they would get zapped on the nose. (They only tried the first day out of their stall, a couple of snouts to the fence line and they just gave up because they are smart.)
After a bit of snorting and shaking a food bucket, we got the girls to follow me to the trailer as their brother looked on from the edge of the pond. We got one in the trailer and right as her sister started walking up the ramp, they both turned and the trailer was empty once again. Another bucket of food and we make a little progress. A little scratching on the head and neck while snout down in the food bucket helped to coax the second one into the trailer, while their brother stayed watching at a distance.
There were a few times we almost had the big guy. He followed me all the way to the open fence only to stop where he always had stopped and go back to the pond. We pulled out the big guns in the form of white bread and managed to catch him a couple of times. The only problem with that is that if a pig that weighs over 300 pounds sits down and doesn’t want to move, he doesn’t move. When he does move, he moves to the pond, down the bank, into the middle and looks at you like “Yeah, sometimes boys are smarter than girls”. After what seemed like an eternity playing catch the pig in the blazing heat we gave up.
Other than the overall nervousness that comes with riding in a vehicle that your brother in law is driving, the trip to Paris was pretty un-eventful. We stopped for fuel and once more to grab a beverage. We made it to Yoder Bros. and walked inside. Since it was a Saturday, the place was pretty empty. The nice young lady at the desk took our information and helped us to fill out our order form. She made us feel better by telling us that we were not the first people who had to leave a pig behind. She told us to pull around back so that we could unload our girls.
There was a nice young man waiting for us and in no time he had the girls out of the trailer, and weighed them in at 345 and 335 pounds. We were really impressed with Yoder Bros. from the start. They are closed on Sundays, but they have people come in to feed the animals. We were instructed to bring them feed for Sunday and if they didn’t get them processed on Monday (they also had a big beef order), they would take care of feeding them until Tuesday.
Last weekend my sister invited all the nieces over for a Twilight marathon. The girls went in the pasture with the big guy and just hung out. He was enjoying being petted and scratched by a few girls who “don’t like pigs”. They said “He’s not so bad, we didn’t like the girls.” and named him Bubba. I’m thinking when we finish off his sisters that the girls who “don’t like pigs” can load Bubba for us. Yep, it’s gonna be easy 😉
Our pigs were ready on July 15th. It takes a little extra time when they cure the bacon and hams, and it is worth the wait. We picked up our pigs on July 17th, but that was another adventure for another time. I’m currently rendering lard while typing and still have to run to Nashville and scoop up the grandbabies.