The piglet excursion has been moved to Tuesday evening. Thats just as well since the pig palace needed some major renovations. You can just imagine what a frat house looks like after its rabble rousing occupants have moved on, especially when they were four piggy brothers. PHEW!
Yesterday, as the sun crept over the hillside, Sonny and I donned our wellies and threw a couple of shovels in the back of the RTV. The shovels rattled against the metal of the RTV bed as we bounced along the path that leads to the now vacant Pig Palace. Until now I have pretty much avoided that area of the farm. There was no need for me to go there.
We stepped out of the RTV onto soft mud. The sun has not been strong enough to dry up the overly saturated ground in that part of the back pasture. I crinkled up my nose as I caught a slight whiff of “ode de pig” lingering in the air. It oozed up from the black mud of the hog pen and although it looked solid enough, it was deceiving. The moment we set foot into the pen our feet sank down into the mud with a squish, covering our boots to above our ankles. A year has passed and its still a quagmire. The wet winter did us no favors and we cannot put new piglets into this mess. They would sink up to their bellies. We were in a dilemma as to how to fix the situation. Well, we had two shovels at our disposal.
We started by shoveling out some of the mud. It was an impossible and exhausting job. The mud weighed a ton and when we tried to fling it off the end of the shovel it clung like glue. There was a big puddle of stagnate water in the middle of the pig hooch. I made a rivulet to drain it out while Sonny went to go get the Kobota tractor. We needed to bring out the big guns.
He used the bucket of the tractor to scoop out the top layer of mud. It made a big improvement but we needed to put down some kind of foundation to keep it from getting that deep again. There is still a whole back section of the pen for the new pigs to make into a mud bath.
Sonny thought that we could make a good foundation by using rocks from the creek bed and then covering them with dirt and small stone to fill in the cracks. So that is what we did. We hand pick some of the larger stones from the creek bed and threw them into the bed of the RTV. We placed them into the muddiest areas then Sonny brought loads of dirt and small stone in the bucket of the Kobota which we shoveled out. I think that is going to make a big difference.
Next we went around the fence line and made repairs where the frat boys had rooted it up. With the clean feed trough and water bucket in place we only have a few finishing touches to accomplish. I got a bale of last years hay from John to put into the pig hooch and Bill is going to stop by tonight to help Sonny finish up with the fence. Soon the Pig Palace will be home sweet home to three new piglets.
I’m not sure what we will call these guys. I don’t believe frat boys will be their title. We have to come up with something new. Sorry there are no pics. We were just too busy and I was afraid I would lose my iPhone in the mud. I will try to get a few shots this evening and post tomorrow.