Promoting understanding
and compassion for animals

Apr

21

The piggies have arrived and so has the green eyed monster!

Posted in: Animals | Di's diary16 Comments

Imagine a two year old who’s just consumed three glasses of red cordial, forty jelly beans and a whiz fizz. That will give you some idea of what Patches and Simon are like at feed time. They arrived on Saturday morning and immediately brightened up an otherwise bleak and dismal day. Their initial wariness of us was soon replaced with unbridled delight and enthusiasm as they realised that we were the providers of all things good (food and unlimited back rubs). They are crazy and zany, two little bundles of dynamite who know exactly what they want and are not afraid to ask for it.

They have already shown preferences in food – apples and tomatoes are a favourite but carrots well… they can take them or leave them. They like zucchini and grapes but weren’t impressed with the baked dog biscuits I offered. Marlee doesn’t like them either (I was trying to get rid of them).

It may be hard to believe that these two hyperactive livewires can go from their super excitable state to one of comatose stupor in a matter of seconds but this is exactly what happens when you scratch their backs. They stop, their eyes roll back in their heads and they flop on the ground and roll over. They lie there for as long as you rub them and then slowly wake up and continue as they were before. This leads me to believe (in my very limited experience) that pigs are experts in ‘sucking the juice out of life’. When they feel good, they totally surrender to their emotions. They are also totally uninhibited and after meeting them would I defy anyone to call a pig boring. They are literally bursting with personality. My photo session today was not as successful as what I hoped. Out of 37 photos I took, I have maybe one or two good ones, simply because they would not leave the camera alone. They wanted to sniff it, chew the cord and were constantly pushing each other out of the way to get a better look.

In terms of temperaments, Patches is definitely the boss pig and Simon is a softie. If Patches feels that Simon is getting too much attention he will unceremoniously shunt him sideways or give your hand  a bloody good shove. I have a feeling he may need some guidance on what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour before his jealousy gets out of hand. Which leads me onto our other green eyed monster, Marlee.

Marlee is a mummy’s boy but suddenly he has to share me  with two squealing, demanding piglets who get fed many more times a day than he does. Not only that but the children who dote on him are also infatuated with these new arrivals and sit in the pen and talk ‘baby talk’ to them. So of course he is not very impressed. I am trying my best to make him feel that he has not been replaced and that I love him as much as I always have but I think it will take time. I am hoping he will really get to like the piglets as I think they will be great play mates for him. I will keep you posted on their progress.

So for now we will continue with the feeds and the cuddles and back rubs and trying to instil in them a sense of decorum at mealtimes, although I don’t much like my chances.

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  1. Shona said on 21/04/2011 at 1:37 pm

    LOL. (Is it breaking Blog protocol to use txt shorthand here?)

  2. sue lobsey said on 21/04/2011 at 11:12 pm

    Ohh Simon your a big sook. I miss you too Patches, it certainly is quieter around my house without my boys running a muck. Biting on Mum’s (Dottie’s) legs, pulling her tail, trying to suckle up to Banjo who wasn’t amused at all. I would of thought they would of worked out there wasn’t any milk there!!!! The little babies were so naughty all together, they use to come under the fence and dig up my husband’s beloved grass in our house yard area. I use to call out to them “babies get out” and they knew they flew under the fence back in with Mum. I did find them on occasions in the “big paddock” with the cows. Mum was freaking out! I again called out “come back babies” and in they came again all 10 of them. Cheeky little babies, I miss you all and wonder how you are all going. It is so great to see pictures of Simon and Patches, next time I drive my daughter to her best friends place at Mt Tomah, I’ll call in Diana. Did they like the bottle, been meaning to ask.

  3. Diana said on 22/04/2011 at 11:58 pm

    Shona, i don’t think we’ll have any blog protocol here LOL!
    And Sue, you poor thing. I know what you mean, I could never breed any animals because I could never part with them. They didn’t take to the bottle because they won’t stand still long enough to get the idea. But I still give them their milky in bowls and they love it! They also come when they’re called, clever boys.

  4. sue lobsey said on 02/05/2011 at 2:10 am

    Have you got any updated photo’s of the little devils.

  5. Diana said on 02/05/2011 at 2:32 am

    I am going to post an update in a few days complete with… I hope …. a video of them running free in the paddock.(if this weather will let up). We let them out of their pen yesterday afternoon and they are so happy and busy. Exploring and digging. I want to get a video of them following me through the paddock back to their shed, they look so cute. In the post I’m also going to mention how I met another mini pig up the road called Flora who was just gorgeous! So stay tuned…

  6. sue lobsey said on 04/05/2011 at 6:38 am

    They love digging that’s for sure!!!!

  7. jackie said on 11/05/2011 at 8:04 am

    The sisters are doing well and seem a lot like your boys. They are really busy with digging and exporing for food (including our legs). They squeal with delight. I am not sure when they will be big enough to be safe out of their pen without us around do you have any ideas? They also have such different personalities and actually like different foods. They seem to like to leave the hard carrots!

  8. Diana said on 12/05/2011 at 12:21 am

    Lovely to hear from you Jackie!
    They do seem very much like their brothers and yes Simon and Patch don’t like carrots either. I let the boys out of their pen nearly two weeks ago and was a bit worried as there were gaps between the posts so I dragged bits of wood and tried to fill in any holes as best I could. But they haven’t made any escape attempts. We have square wire which is about 10 cm across and that seems fine. I am a little worried in a few places where they have been digging near the fence and will need to keep an eye on that. I have a suspicion that I may need to build a stronger, reinforced pen for them later on, with wire buried in the ground. Also I still lock them up at night – I don’t know if I would trust them to leave them out, anyway they seem quite happy to be locked up and go into their pen by themselves. I think if I was going to be gone all day I would probably leave them in their too.
    It is a pity the weather is so cold I would have loved to have put a pool in for them to play in, oh well maybe in spring.

  9. sue lobsey said on 17/05/2011 at 9:24 pm

    Mum And Dad aren’t keen on carrots, my cows love carrots!

  10. Shelly Braunisch said on 17/05/2011 at 11:14 pm

    Oh my goodness. Di I am in love with Simon and Patch. They are just adorable. I am not sure about them wanting to eat my feet. Such friendly little things. Love the piggy noises.

  11. sue lobsey said on 21/05/2011 at 10:34 pm

    Simon and Patches dad Banjo was attcked by dogs we are assuming on friday night, I wish people could be responsible and keep there dogs in there own properties!!! You can’t really blame the dogs they are doing what comes naturally, it is stupid animal owners who I mad at. He should be ok, he is very sore he was biten badly on his ears, one in particular, and he was biten on his legs, Dottie is fine. Could a fox have done this??? He was not biten on his neck / throat, he can’t walk to good at the moment, limping around. I’m giving my boy 24-7 care at the moment. I called in to see ian henry and he said if it is flesh wounds there no point him coming to see him, just keep a eye on him and I’ve been spraying that purple stuff on his wounds. Hopefully in the next couple of days he will start feeling better, he still is eating and drinking, so that is good. He just looks sad, and his ears are flopped right over not standing up like they usually are, they look so sore. So every pig owner out there be careful, I thought my fencing was good enough but now I know maybe it isn’t..

  12. Diana said on 22/05/2011 at 12:27 am

    That is terrible news, you are so lucky he survived. It’s frightening also because Dottie and Banjo are not that far from your house. I am also worried about dogs – I lock the boys up at night but big dogs could probably jump over the pen’s gate and then the pigs are trapped. We had an alpacca attacked a few years ago. I don’t think it would be a fox but then I’m not an expert. What do you think banjo weighs – I know foxes can take lambs but an adult pig you think would be much heavier. I think probably a lone dog – and that is why he survived. If it had been two or a pack he wouldn’t have had a chance. Thinking of you two and hoping he recovers soon – lots of spoiling on the menu. Keep us posted. Also that is amazing about his ears – they must be like a chicken’s comb – that always falls over when they are sick.

  13. sue lobsey said on 22/05/2011 at 6:57 am

    Yes I agree Diane I think it was only one dog / fox?? Because if it was more than one dog he would be dead. I’ve tucked them away tonight, Dottie has been licking his wounds following him around. They really like a old married couple. I think he would weigh 40 – 50kg that’s what the vet thought when he got de-sexed. I hate seeing him like that, he is always such a happy pig, he has gotten a bit better with his walking today. Lots of spoiling on the menu that’s for sure!!!

  14. sue lobsey said on 31/05/2011 at 11:31 am

    My Banjo is doing a lot better he is walking good again, one ear is nearly 100% better and the other ear is probably 60% there. I would love to see more photo’s of the boys. I still pine for them,and think about them every day. I’d love to come and see them soon.

  15. sue lobsey said on 15/06/2011 at 11:09 am

    I found out about a week ago my neighbour owns two “hunting / pigging” dogs, I believe these two dogs were the ones who attacked Banjo. These dogs have gotten out twice now and both times they were eyeing up my pigs, luckily someone was at home to bring Banjo and Dottie into their pen. I told my neighbour her dogs were out trying to get to my pigs. Firstly she firmly denys that her dogs would of attacked Banjo. Funny that no other dogs have been trying to come back to finish the job off. Secondly she has asked me to fence more of MY paddock so Banjo and Dottie can’t roam out the back of our property. I have just spent thousands of dollars netting my whole property so Banjo and Dottie can roam freely with my cows, they go down to the dam whenever they like. I said but if your dogs can get out of your fencing, why would you think another fence is going to stop them?? DRRR I also got a text from her to say can I let her know if HER dogs get out, I texted her straight back to say I can’t stay at home 24/7 to watch your dogs. I have a business to run and I’m out most of the day. Does she not realize Dottie & Banjo may not be so lucky next time her dogs come into MY property. Yesterday I came home and on my gate I had a card from a man called Steve Parker he is a ranger for Livestock, Pest Control, he wrote on the card to call him, so I did straight away. He said I want to come out and see your pigs, I said what for and secondly how do you know I have pigs, I live at the end of a private road and no-one can drive past my place. He dodged that question. He said I want to come and see what origin your pigs are. I said what do you mean. He said if you have feral pigs they have to be destroyed, I said I don’t have feral pigs, I have had my pigs since they were piglets, there friendly beautiful pets. He said I still want to come out. Today I spoke to my Vet Ian Henry and he called Steve and explained how he has attended to my pigs and they are very well looked after. Ian & I think my neighbour with the dangerous dogs have tipped Steve off saying I have feral pigs. How dare they, who else would of complained about my pigs, no-one so tomorrow I’m reporting her dangerous dogs to the council, my husband has photo’s of their dogs out and roaming on my neighbours property, trying to get throught the fence to get to my pigs. Two can play at this game. How dare they. Steve said even after speaking to Ian he still needs to visit my place and view the pigs. I’ll keep you posted how the visit goes, my husband says he wants to be notified and he will be here when Steve comes luckily. UNBELIEVABLE….

  16. Diana said on 15/06/2011 at 12:02 pm

    Oh Sue, how horrible for you. I can’t believe any of that. I am going to google the Livestock/ Pest cControl organisation and see what I can find out. That is so frightening that they have the power to do that. My boys are in full view of the road and so many people have commented on them.
    I really feel sorry for you as well with your neighbours, it is so draining physically and emotionally to have to deal with conflict like that, especially when there are animals involved. I will ask around – a couple of other people who read this blog also have pet pigs exactly the same as ours – and see what they know and I will get back to you. Please let me know when you know more.

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