Grit Blogs > Adventures on the Homestead

Pig Sense

By Monica Smith


Tags: Monica Smith, Central Mississippi Homestead, potbelly pigs, smart pigs,

Monica SmithOver a month ago, I was given two male pigs: a potbelly, which I dubbed Bacon Bits, and a mini potbelly I call Little Bits. I brought the pigs home, and my husband built a pig pen. I've only ever owned one potbelly before, and he was an indoor pet, not a bacon-seed producer. Hubby has never owned pigs. So, since they were both still quite young, we thought we could get away with making a pig pen by laying tin on its side for the fencing until a better option could be found. We out Bacon Bits in first, and I went to get Little Bits. By the time I got back, Bacon Bits had jumped the enclosure and disappeared in the woods! We spent over an hour trying to catch him. Set out live traps to no avail. People always said that pigs were smart, but I underestimated them still. So it's been over a month with him in the woods, showing his dirt encrusted nose to us and running off.

Until two days ago ...

One of the gates to my fenced-in backyard had fallen off the hinges and, for the time being, lies on the ground. This is where I keep my rabbits and quail. I had gone through (over) said gate to feed my rabbits when I looked up and saw a pig. Now, I'm thinking it's Little Bits. But it occurred to me that he seemed to have grown overnight. Then I hear Little Bits oink from his pen behind me, outside the fence. And slowly two things dawn on me: (1) it's Bacon Bits, DUH! and (2) that's one heavy gate to try and lift back in place before he escapes. Because, you see, he's standing there looking at me. He knows I'm between him and his only way out. He's trying to figure out how to get by me. I'm trying to figure out how to lift this gate before he can. Perhaps I'll just stand here till someone comes out. But I've already told everyone to stay inside. But they never listen to me. But since I really need someone to come out, this will be the one time in all of eternity that they listen. He's watching. Screw it, I've got to try.

I go to set the scoop of rabbit feed down, and he runs further into the backyard ... YES! PERFECT! I quickly heave up that freaking heavy gate (6-1/2 by 10 feet of cypress) and slam it into place.

Aw, heck naw, he figured me out. He comes screeching and running as fast as he can and slams himself into the space between the gate and the fence. He doesn't fit. He runs to the other side and once again slams himself into the opening. Once again, he doesn't fit. So he runs into the corner and starts snorting retorts that I'm thankful I can't understand. I get the gate situated so that he can't possibly fit through, and it won't fall back in, either. I did it! I outsmarted a pig!

Then I remember: the back door is locked. I'm locked in with the pig ...

Potbellied pigs
Photo by Fotolia/Tamas Zsebok