Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Taking a selfie with a pig: Not for the faint of heart

I like to think of a pig as a dual-purpose animal, because he serves as the funniest pet you'll ever see... the clown of the barnyard, actually... and then you get to eat him.  Trust me, by the time you've enjoyed his antics for six months or so, you are glad to see him turned into sausage, bacon, and pork chops.

Stanley enjoying the buttermilk after Cora and I made butter
Stanley-the-pig's main form of nourishment is milk, almost two gallons of it a day.  He also gets some corn and various table scraps poured into the trough a couple times daily, but the milk is what he really gets excited about.  When he sees me approaching with a bucket or jar, he starts grunting and running in circles until I get there with it, he's so excited.  Pouring the milk into the trough is an adventure for me:  Stanley thinks his head needs to be exactly under the flow of milk, so in the process of my pouring the milk, he gets quite a milk bath, and so do I.  If I try to pour the milk into another part of the trough, he moves until his head is directly under the stream of milk again, causing much milk to bounce off his head and outside the trough.  Pouring milk in Stanley's trough would make a good Olympic sport, with the winner being the person who managed to get the most milk into the trough.

Pigs love to root, it's what they do.  The reason there are so many feral pigs in some parts of the country these days is that they know how to forage for food, and rooting in the ground is a big part of that.  We have a box of pig rings in the barn from the time, back in the 70's or 80's, when we had a sow and boar giving us litters of piggies.  The rings go unused, however, because Cliff loves to see pigs rooting; they seem so happy doing it, and he feels they get nutrients out of the dirt as they root.  So unless the pig is actually rooting an escape from the pen, he doesn't get a ring in his nose to stop his rooting.  About the time I think he is going to root deep enough to get under the fence, he stops, and his nose remains unadorned.

It was hot weather when we bought Stanley, and for his comfort we bought him a wading pool.  He has long since outgrown it, although if I put water in it he will climb in, but he mashes the sides down when he stretches out in it, with his head sticking out one side and his feet the other.  We left the pool in his pen because sometimes he enjoyed dragging it around and playing with it.  Imagine our surprise when we noticed he had dragged it into his hutch!

That's where it stays now, sort of like it's his blankie when he sleeps.  Look closely, you can see it through the door of the hutch.  The other day he was in his hutch and we were in the shop.  There's a window on that side of the hutch, and the pig spent half-an-hour rearranging the pool, which we could see moving and flopping around in the window, much to our amusement.

Here's a closer look inside:

And now, about the title of this blog entry.  Yesterday evening I had finished chores and gotten into my nightgown when I thought how amusing it would be if I got a selfie picture of me with my pig, so I headed outside with IPad in hand.  The IPad is just the thing for selfies because, like a cell phone, you can make it take a picture of your own face easily.  I didn't think it would be too difficult to get a picture of us, since the pig is always looking for food and stays near the fence hoping for a fresh morsel of some kind when I'm there.  Once I started trying to pose with Stanley, though, after several tries at getting a shot of the two of us, I realized it wasn't going to be that easy.  

I was going to have to get down to the pig's level, and the only way to do that was to sit on the ground.  Now, I wasn't about to get inside the pen and try this:  If I'm in the pen with Stanley, he has his filthy nose all over me, sniffing all over in case I have an apple in my pocket or something.  So I looked at the ground on my side of the fence, which was wet from the recent rain.  I stepped inside the barn and grabbed the lid off a container, tossed it on the ground and, after much maneuvering, got myself lowered, missing the lid by a foot or so when I plopped my derriere onto the ground.  Cliff and I are used to forcing ourselves down on the floor to play with Cora and her "Little People" stuff, but it isn't anything I would film and show people.  We resemble, more than anything, two fish out of water, flopping on the bank, gasping for breath.

So, I got myself situated on the lid and held up the camera.  This is one of my more successful attempts... I wish I hadn't deleted some of the others.

I finally got a shot that included my face and the whole pig, but it wasn't what I had in mind.  However, I decided to quit while I was ahead.
Stanley isn't even facing the camera and doing duck-lips.  What kind of selfie is that?  

We figure he weighs well over 100 pounds now, well on his way to becoming meat for the table.  Meanwhile, I am enjoying the heck out of his antics.


Jon said...

I enjoyed the amusing saga of Stanley and the photos are fun. He looks so relaxed in that pool.

I refuse to think of him as future meat for the table.

Margaret said...

Duck lips in a selfie? He must be a teenager pig! ;) Taking a photo with Stanley is much more amusing than those people I've been reading about who think it's a great idea to have a selfie with a bear. Needless to say, it doesn't end well.

krueth said...

What a fun post to read today :-) Love the selfie of you and Stanley... He will taste amazing later on. We raised pigs when I was a kid at home for our meat too. There were 7 of us kids so for a family of 9 it took a lot of food. I understand about the getting down and up again with kids. I am a daycare provider and at 56 it gets harder each day to do that, ha! Thanks for the fun read. Wendy

Laura Rose said...

I so enjoyed seeing your pig and how much fun and laughter he brings you. I kinda wish he had something soft in his pool to lay in. That was smart him taking it in where he sleeps. I have a friend who had a pot belly pig and he was so smart. He got so big she had to sell him. He started eating the walls in her house. He would even break into the fridge and eat everything in sight and they had to put a chain and lock on it. Your pig is really growing with the good fresh milk he is getting.