The other day she ran full speed into the woven wire fence. Full out sprint. Into the fence. BOOM! She bounced off and backed up to try again. I have seen cows and sheep run full speed into fences but never a pig. They are supposed to be smarter than that. Also the pig goes crazy unless Cooper’s pig is with it. Again, herd mentality is sheep behavior, not pig behavior. So Miles has a pig that acts like a Holstein and Suffolk. Really, honestly, not good.
She (the pig) is crazy. Miles told me his pig is a runner so I said, “Just let her run. Then, when she has worn herself out, work with her.” I did not understand. She is truly crazy. She runs herself into exhaustion. There is no working with her. She sprints to the gate that leads back to her pen like a pig possessed. Seriously possessed. (....reminds me of a New Testament story….. good thing there are no cliffs close by…..)
Sprinting pigs may have a great value in some places but a county fair show ring is not one of them. The pig must learn to walk and it would be really helpful if she learned to walk where she is directed. Generally speaking, pigs are intelligent animals so, usually, pig training is pretty easy. After just a few sessions they are easily directed with tap on the jowl or the hock. Miles’ pig is not a usual pig.
Early morning hours, before the heat of the day hits, are best for pig training. Miles leaves for work early which left me to work with his pig. In our first session, she ran into the fence. During our second session she ran but not into fences. She achieved a new level of stupidity after our third session. After exercising, she wanted to cool off. Seeing that breakfast was soupy, she tried to roll in it. Twice. I chased her away once but no. She came back. Full on tried to roll in her food. Twice.
For two weeks I worked with that dang pig every morning. Initially she just ran around. Then we got to where she did 4 laps around the pasture, each lap interrupted by multiple rebellious side excursions. Last week we did 8 laps; she did not run away from me once. She knows the routine now. She knows that I will relentlessly, persistently, gently, and doggedly pursue her until she does goes around the pasture. Resigned to her fate, she makes her rounds.
Though she is still totally undirectable and completely willful---she walks around the perimeter of the pasture but will not obey any other directions--I consider the fact that she is walking a victory. I described my victory to Lance and then asked him “Who is more pig-headed, me or the pig?” He refused to answer. I even gave him a hint. “It’s not the pig,” I said. Still he would not answer. He said there was no safe answer to that question…..