For Purposes of Pigging Out

As day cooled last night I was down in the old pig pen with a cordless drill and pop rivet set, patching the bottom of the hog feeder.  “Borrowed” it from my brother three years ago when we got our first set of pigs.  The top 90% is still in fine shape, but the troughs have rusted through to the point that the feed just sifts on through for the mice.  My brother-in-law the machinist thinks he can fabricate a new base, but for now I’ve patched the holes over with chunks of galvanized tin.  The tin was just like new.  My buddy Mills scored it free at the dump.  Mills is a valuable friend.  He knows “the dump guy”, you see, and when you know “the dump guy,” you have access to undreamed of riches.  My pig waterer came complete and functional from the dump courtesy of Mills.

This feeder is a little bit of overkill for our operation.  It’s a “12-banger,” as in, it has 12 hinged lids the pigs can choose from.  They use their snouts to lift the lid and get at the feed, which fills the compartment by gravity.  Thing that’s nice about a feeder that big when you have only four pigs is we can load it up less often and pre-fill it if we’re going to be gone so that whoever’s covering chores doesn’t have to lug feed bags.  The feeder design keeps the feed dry and also prevents the pigs from rolling around in it or otherwise wasting it.  I had two smaller single-lid feeders I was using ($80 apiece retail, got these for $30 on Craigslist, still had the store stickers on’em!) (not to brag) (Mills spotted’em) (seriously, don’t you wish you knew Mills?) but the pigs quickly got too big for them.  Tipped them over, causing the farmer to say bad English words to a non-English speaking pig, never a good sign.  Thus the need to switch to the big feeder.

For purposes of distinction, we feed our slop in two halves of a plastic barrel I cut in half lengthways.  Got smart this year and pegged them to the ground with steel fence posts.  Took me two years to figure out that if I don’t want to start the day by wading through mud and wet pig snouts to fetch the feeders, I need to tether them to the earth.

OK.  Writing now.  Editor wanting to read something other than pig tales.

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