How loud can a pig squeal?!? Average pig squeals will reach 100 to 115 decibels. That’s loud. The Concord jet was banned from flying over New York because it’s engines were 112 decibels. Chainsaws are around 100 and modern jets are around 140. My pig will easily top that.
Winter is coming and I was struggling with creating a pig house that was goat proof. The first winter PigPig had a nice corner of the sheep barn, with a sheep panel for walls and a well insulated top. I hung a heat lamp inside and the cats, who are opportunists, found it and snuggled down comfortably on top of Pig right under the light.
Pig was happy with her furry purry blanket, and it was a good year. Last year the chickens took over Pig’s side of the barn, so Pig had to share with the goats. Goats don’t play nice and Pig is a sensitive soul. I finally had to build some walls for pig and a door that was goat proof. I didn’t have much luck. Finally I taped some of my garden stakes to the goats horns to create a larger profile so they wouldn’t tap dance on Pig’s head. It worked for a while but the goats were determined. They soon learned where the “edges” were and manoeuvred themselves into PigPig’s house.
This year I purchased a sheet of 3/4 inch OSB, had it cut in half, cut a doorway out and hung it in the barn. I filled it full of straw and my daughter tossed in a handful of dog kibble as bait. Now, how to get the pig in? PigPig was traumatized by the goats and the barn also held bad memories of her last pedicure. She is not really a large pig but she has no handles, no place to hold onto. And as a prey animal she screams bloody murder when held or manhandled. We tried to gently lure her in a few days ago. She would come up to the door but no further. We tried food but even that wasn’t enticement enough. So when she got close we tried to push her in. It was like trying to push my school bus with the park brakes on. She was a supersonic screaming machine. Finally we grabbed a bucket, a trick I’d learned either from James Herriot or my neighbour, I can’t remember who, but it worked. Put the bucket over the pigs head and hang on. The pig will back away, screaming like a banshee, but if you can hang on and keep the bucket over the head, you can steer the pig backwards. Works like a charm. But pigs are smart and PigPig knew exactly where she was, and she was not going to back into the barn. Three tries later, our ears ringing, Pig was in, the door closed, dog kibble and cookies sprinkled in her new house, and we went to bed hoping her royal greediness would settle down in her new home. Nope. My daughter checked the next morning and Pig was sulking by the barn door.
Ok. More kibble. And I opened the house up so PigPig could find the cookies then closed it behind her. If she finds her way out then then can find her way back in again. Day two. Still sulking by the door. I had to jam another board in the bottom of the door to prevent Pig from pushing her way out with her snout. Then, day three, miracle of miracles, PigPig was inside happily munching kibble.
Success. I let her out for the day then locked her back up, sans goats for the night. So now it’s home sweet home, after ten minutes of screaming and two days of sulking. I taped up the goats horns and yesterday just left the barn open. Pig was happily ensconced in her house and the goats slept off to the side. Another job done. I’ll hang a heat lamp for Pig when it gets colder and no doubt the cats will join her again. I like when things come together.