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Surprises

Posted 7/21/2011 6:09am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

Last week the litter of pigs we've been waiting for finally arrived adding yet another age class of pigs on the place.    I'd say these guys are in the exploratory toddler stage.   They currently share the sheep pen with the older litter of pigs and the two litters run back and forth under the hay feeders between the two sows taking drinks whenever they can get them.    Ebony is also with this group and while the sows aren't very tolerant of her trying to grab a drink from them, they are remarkably protective of her and tolerant of her frenzied squealing whenever I'm around.   Ebony associates me with a lovely drink of milk.   When she hears human voices she begins to run around squealing in the most desperate and irritating way.    I always wear my knock-off Wellies to the barn and when I enter her pen, she runs up and begins sucking on the side of my boots.   I like to reach down and pat her floppy jowls;  it is the only soft part of her long, lean tubular body.   The problem with Ebony is that when a lot of folks are around she doesn't only suck on peoples' legs, she seems to get frustrated, will single someone out and begin an aggressive attack on their calf.   She is little so it is seems humorous at first, but her energy and persistence is frightening!   My mother-in-law aquired an nasty bruise as a result of an Ebony fit.  I'm hoping this is the just the trials of adolescence after a difficult childhood, but only time will tell.  

The same day the pigs arrived the girls discovered a hen with a clutch of newly hatched chicks in the horse stall.    This the kind of surprise we are delighted by.   So far all seven chicks are doing well.  Mac has assumed the role of  protector and disciplinarian.   We have little worry of him running of to Charlie's to find work when he has a clutch of chicks to keep in line.   His OCD is at its most absurd when he sits with his tongue hanging out, scrutinizing little balls of fluff as they scurry about.   One wonders what sort of battle may be going on inside his head between his wolfish and herding instincts.  Thankfully it seems his wolfish instinct only wins when it comes to killing rats.