So. Stupid pigs are on somewhere around 1/3 of an acre. We figured a nice big pen instead of a little muddy pen was better. Well, piggies prefer to hang out around their hut, thrashing the ground into pig poop slurry. So, we started moving their food tubs farther away every time we fed them. Helped a bit. Finally, we started locking them out of their house during the day. Helped a LOT! They have a huge pen full of trees and logs and ferns and good forest duff. No reason to be huddled like little scaredy cats in the pig hut. We made a little more progress when we started chopping up pears and apples and chucking them in the bushes. Still, they weren't quite exploring like we had envisioned. And suddenly, brilliant idea. LJ : "Bet those pigs would like molasses." Me: "Pretty sure I saw a jug of molasses when I reorganized the pantry this morning..." Score!
So, jug of molasses in hand, I tramped through the woods, dribbling stinky sugary goodness along my trail. Oooooooh buddy! Piggies LOVE molasses. :)
The pigs spent all day yesterday tromping through the woods, rooting away. They munched on blackberry and other roots, and seemed to have found a few squirrel stashes. At first I thought they were chewing on rocks. Nope, hazelnuts (and maybe some rocks). They made a couple different beds out under the trees, and even after we opened their hut back up, remained out in the brambles and ferns.
Spot, the runt that freaked out and screamed if a human came anywhere near him, is now the most friendly of the bunch. He will take pear slices from my hand, and leads the pack running in when we call "hey pigpig!" (aka, come eat). Progress is definitely being made, both at taming the crazy pigs, and at turning them into efficient rototillers. Woohoo!
Goslings are a month old, and getting huge. The two large Toulouse (Sweet Boy and Sweet Girl) have their breast feathers, tail feathers, shoulders, and their wing quills are starting to feather. Little Girl and Afro are a bit behind. We can't wait until Afro gets her head feathers, so we can see if she has an afro with adult feathers as well as baby fluff. Afro was the suicidal girl (aka Stupid) and is very sweet (to people). She's the only one that doesn't squawk and thrash when I pick her up. She's a terror when it comes to the other geese, but only when they're in the tub. Pulling out feathers, mostly. Soooo, the babies spent most of the day yesterday outside. If they saw us walk by, they'd shriek and try to follow us, but after about 5 min would calm and start grazing.
This post is getting a bit long. I leave you with a pic of Sweet Boy and Baby Girl (aka Micro, Little Girl, Runty). Happy Monday!