But I’m getting ahead of myself. Multiple farm-based desires have converged to bring about today’s electrifying events, and you, the reader, deserve to know them all.
We have pigs. You probably know this. Three male American Mulefoot hogs live at the back of our yard in a pen we created.
They used to escape all the time, and we progressively lined the bottom of the fence with railroad ties (they would root under the woven wire fencing), and even eventually had to cover all the woven wire with either chicken wire or sheet metal, as they (being youngish and smallish) would squeeze through the squares in the woven wire. So we had finally contained them. But they lived in squalor (like pigs generally do); their pen was a veritable mud pit, devoid of almost anything green. This did not make us happy. We want pastured pigs. Like Joel Salatin. Like pigs are meant to be. Watch Joel explain what I mean, below.
We wanted something else, too. There is a little piece of land in our pasture on which we would like to grow corn, sorghum, and maybe other crops. But it needs to be tilled.
Pigs are natural tillers. Their noses are like miniature shovels.
So we thought we’d just put the pigs in that stretch of pasture for a week, and we’d have freshly-tilled soil, ready to plant. But we needed fencing.
We purchased a Zareba Red Snap’r AC-powered Low-Impedance Fence Charger, able to electrify 30 miles of fencing. We purchased white polywire – polyester rope with 6 steel wires intertwined. We purchased some plastic “electric fence” posts. Portability.
The training began today.
Pigs must be trained on electric fences – their natural instinct (so we’ve read) is to charge forward when frightened. So we put up electric fencing in their current pen, just on the inside of the woven wire (so they won’t charge through it). 2000+ volts will make a quick learner out of anybody, I’d guess. So they’re learning to respect the fence, and they’ll thank us for it someday, as they very soon will be out in the pasture, with lots of ground to root up, lots of grass to munch on, and a greater ability to express their true pigness. You can watch the schooling below.