Hogs Loading Themselves

I would rather not relate my first two experiences loading hogs.  I’ll do it but only because I love you.

There were a lot of…adjectives.  Maybe some high temperatures.  A fair amount of running, yelling, pushing, lifting and other unpleasantness.  This was capped off when we got to town and one escaped the chute and ran around the street near the packer.  That was awesome.

One of our goals is to ensure our animals have a wonderful life right up until the end.  I don’t want loading into a trailer to be unpleasant for man or beast.  I have found a better way.

The pigs load themselves.  Rather than attempt to load the pigs the morning I drive to town, I back the trailer out there the night before.  I butt the electric fence up against the sides of the trailer and put their feed inside.  Curiosity and appetite lead them into the trailer and I close the door.  No muss, no fuss.  Up they go.  I have loaded them this way twice now.  Old timers think it’s a fluke…just like the electric fence I keep them in with.

Monday night the fourth and final pig showed resistance to loading into the trailer.  Rather than pressure the animal to fit my schedule, I backed off.  3 of them were loaded into the front partition.  The fourth was reluctant.  I put some apples by the door and went to eat supper.  After supper he still hadn’t loaded.  I decided bring the cows up, feed the goats and close the chickens.  When I got back his curiosity had won out over his caution and I closed the door while he munched away at the apples.

This represents a major epiphany and is entirely my father’s idea.  Thanks Dad.

Where have you found frustration with livestock?  How have you overcome it?