Promoting understanding
and compassion for animals

Feb

21

Raising the floor

Posted in: Di's diaryBe the first to comment

Well the rain still hasn’t stopped. I really thought it might have by now but no, it keeps on falling. Every afternoon like clockwork – about 2 o’clock we have a dreadful storm and then it continues on throughout the night. When I watch the weather map the rain seems to come from every direction. One moment it is coming from the west, then it’s the south. Sometimes it just seems to hover over our place or maybe I’m getting a little paranoid?

Anyway the rain is a part of our life whether we like it or not. I recently came to accept this fact and decided that something needed to be done to the pig pen. Ordinarily it is dry and clean but the phenomenal amount of rain we have had has turned part of it into a river. There is no use putting dry straw in because within a day or so it is trampled and muddy. So I spoke to Ian (Duncan’s dad) about my plans to put in a raised section where the pigs could get up and out of the damp. My idea was fairly basic. We have some old pallets lying around and I asked him whether he had any flat pieces of wood which I could use as a floor. Ian volunteered to help and as he is a builder, his idea of a raised floor was somewhat different to mine.

I started receiving phone calls asking me about the dimensions of the shed and then updates about how he had picked up different pieces of timber cheap because they were slightly weather damaged. Then he started talking about bearers and joists and I realised that this was probably going to be quite some floor.

The construction

The construction

He arrived last Sunday with compressor, timber, nail gun and some strange looking electronic level devise in hand. He worked all day, only stopping for a couple of cups of tea and a bit of lunch – most of which he shared with the pigs. He levelled the site and used my pallets as piers, then assembled the bearers and joists and laid the floor. Then he made a step for them so that they could climb up into their beautiful new home. Finally in the middle of a thunderstorm (you know the daily occurrence) Ian and I and two of my wonderful friends Sam and Kelly, filled up his ute with fresh straw which he had brought and piled it on top of the floor. He is even coming back to put in a railing as the platform is quite high off the ground (to stop any sleep walkers).

Alana trying out the new bed

Alana trying out the new bed

And the verdict? The pigs were ecstatic. They love comfort and they love things that are new. After they had had their rather belated dinner, they all climbed happily up into their bed and squealed with excitement. In fact since Sunday they have only left their new accommodation to eat, drink and to answer the call of nature.

Mmm I like this, I can even see over the wall

Mmm I like this, I can even see over the wall

For so many years I have struggled with things like this, it is so wonderful to have had some help. I can only imagine the amateurish contraption I would have built armed with a hammer and nails and a blunt handsaw.

The other thing which has delighted me this past week is that whenever Ian has rung, Alana who always picks up the phone has handed it over to me and announced “Duncan’s dads on the phone”. I love it how children never think of adults as people in their own right, they are always somebody’s mother or father. In this case Alana doesn’t think it at all strange that a pig has a dad and I think that is just great!

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