Mixed Up Milk Cow

Farming is a difficult profession.


Some farmers have pests to deal with. Some farmers have weather that causes problems. Some have predators that attack their livestock. I have animal identity issues as one of my major farming difficulties.


Not only do I own the female goat that consorted with a male sheep and is very possibly pregnant with a mutant, I have a pig who is convinced he is a calf and a cow that is perfectly happy with the arrangement.


This is the piglet, who mind you is not a "baby", but a full 60 pound 10 week old feeder pig, who first figured out the "milk spigots" on Mae back when she was in the yard. She is now in a pasture of her own and a calf of her own...a pasture with a strongly wired electric fence around it.


And for the first several days, this kept Mr. Pig out. He whined and carried on (see yesterday's video) but wasn't brave enough to get shocked by the fence. And so he was all forlorn, watching his walking milk buffet from afar. Mae wasn't helping matters when he cried--she would go and stand by him and moo. It's not as if she doesn't have a baby to care for either--she has the calf and she does do a good job taking care of him. But apparently one kid just isn't enough for her.


Sure enough, I went out this afternoon and the piglet had finally braved the shocks from the fence to get to Mae. He was thrilled, eating until he was swollen (Mae is giving a TON of milk right now) and then lying down in the green grass while Mae licked him all over as if he was a calf. SO. DAMN. WEIRD.


Tonight I went out to roust him from the pasture so I could go lock him up. NO piglet needs to be nursing on my cow and he is stealing all the milk we would be using for the house! Alas, that was no easy task.


The pig wasn't about to leave his free dinner machine and Mae wasn't cooperative either. Few things are harder than attempting to chase a 60 pound pig in a half acre pasture while keeping out of the way of a 900 pound cow.


Normally mild mannered and kind, Mae started throwing her head and stomping at me when I resorted to chasing the pig with long sticks to try to turn him. His piggy cries brought about her protective mama instincts and I finally gave up. I really didn't want to get railroaded by a cow because I was stealing her "baby".


So tomorrow I will bring her all the way to the barn at graining time and separate them there. Luckily this little dude is actually leaving for a new home soon as a breeding boar. Let's just hope that his "species mix-up" issues go away when it is time for him to find a lady love!



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