Friday, October 30, 2015

I miss Stanley the pig already

Last week Cliff fixed it so that Stanley would get used to the trailer that would be taking him to the butcher shop, and he certainly did get accustomed to it; he followed me into the trailer when it was time to go and began eating the sweet feed I poured in front of him.  

Not that anything ever worried him much.  

I have never in my life laughed any harder at a pig.  I guess it was because he didn't have another pig to buddy up with, but he sure did some shenanigans.  We had a round concrete container to put his water in, and in spite of how heavy it was, he rooted it around all over his pen.  About ten days before it was time to haul him away to his destiny, he scooted the water dish over to his mud wallow and into it.  He then rooted until he got it upside down, but he wasn't done yet:  He proceeded to bury it, rooting mud over it until it was totally out of sight.  Since his time here was short, I just gave him water a couple times a day in his feed trough.  He really didn't need any drinking water before I sold Penny-the-cow, since he was getting four gallons of milk a day.  However, once Penny left, he needed water.  

If Stanley saw me coming with the milk bucket in hand, or with any container that might contain table scraps or refuse from the house, he would run joyfully around in a circle, grunting his pleasure as I approached.  

I miss that pig.  I don't miss the smell, but he was a day-brightener, in spite of his faults.  All the time he was here, he did his best to root his way out of the pen, and I was sure we'd have to put a ring in his nose; but Cliff didn't want to do that unless it was necessary, because he feels pigs need to root.  He would fortify Stanley's pen if it appeared he might make an escape, rather than ring his nose.  

It was hot when we bought him as a cute little pig, so I bought a cheap wading pool and filled it with water for him to cool off in.  He finally outgrew it, smashing the sides down when his head and feet hung out of it, but he still enjoyed it.  He moved it here and there around the pen, even placing it in his house at times and sleeping with the wadded up piece of plastic.  He finally discarded it in his wallowing hole, and there it stayed until he was taken away.

A pig will usually choose one spot in his pen to use as a bathroom, so all the mess is in one section of the pen and you know where to walk to avoid the mess.  Unfortunately, Stanley failed to read the pig manual and had not learned about this custom.  Not one spot in his pen was safe, including, when he was small, the trough he had to eat out of.  He wasn't the brightest candle on the cake, but he was happy.  

Stanley loved rotten peaches, seeds and all, but I stopped giving him the seeds after reading that peach pits contain cyanide.  It doesn't hurt the pig to eat them, but the cyanide is stored in the pig's fat and doesn't leave his body.  

Stanley weighed 273 pounds, a very good weight for butchering.  The grandson will pay the processing and get half the meat.  Never have we had a pig that cost us so little to raise, thanks to the extra milk we had, and gave me such enjoyment.


Margaret said...

Awww, I would miss Stanley too. He sounds like SUCH a character. I loved the picture you posted of his pool inside his house.It was heartwarming! Patt hated it when his mom had pigs, probably because of the smell and the rooting.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm sure you'll be enjoying more of your pig in the days to come.