When you are on a farm – even one as small as ours, it is important to learn to take the good days with the inevitable not so good days. We have been extremely lucky that the worst we have had to deal with was the pig vs. chicken saga.
We’d had a night away and knew that as soon as we got home we would have to find the pigs. Josh had just extended their paddock so they could explore down in an area with pine trees and have a bit more space to dig around but the last couple of mornings they had been getting out. Josh put a hot wire over the fence we thought they were using as their escape route but it would seem that everything we had heard (and up until this point not believed) about pigs being great escape artists was in fact true.
We arrived home and I went searching only to be called by Josh to tell me that the pigs were cruising around in the yard where the trucks are. I went and got the big white bucket that they know means food and coaxed them back up into their paddock for some dinner. All was well again until I realised that the pigs had taken a detour through the vege garden on the way down to the yard.
The broccoli, cauliflower, radicchio and cabbages that I had grown FROM SEEDS in March had been chewed, dug up and moved all around. And we’re not talking a couple of plants here. We’re talking about 20. Thankfully it would seem pigs aren’t partial to leek, baby beets or lettuces…
So the vege garden was a mess. Not the end of the world (although I was highly unimpressed with my pigs). But then we noticed that one of the chickens that had been bitten by the pig way back and had not really come right was looking very forlorn. She had been distancing herself from the other chickens for a week or so and hadn’t got her colour or comb back after the attack, was generally seen sort of tucked into herself in the middle of the paddock and on a closer look she had lost a lot of weight. So it was decided that for her own good it was time for her to go to chook heaven. Having “dealt with” 3 of our meat birds just yesterday I thought I would be fine with this but she was a pet…she had a name! Add that on top of the vege garden destruction and the day had suddenly become quite traumatic.
As far as days go this one definitely fell into the “not so good” category but after fixing the fence, salvaging and replanting a few of the seedlings, baking some cookies and preparing our home grown chicken for dinner (more on this later) things are looking up!